War and rivalry among great powers

Douglas Lemke, William Reed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


We combine analysis of rivalry with consideration of a possible selection bias. We discover that what makes great powers more likely to be rivals is statistically related to their propensity to experience war. A censored probit allows simultaneous estimation of the influence of six covariates on the probability great powers experience rivalry and war, while controlling for statistical linkage between the two dependent variables. Consequently, we recast some past research. For example, contiguity and parity actually reduce the probability of war between great power rivals once we control for their influence on the probability great powers are rivals in the first place. Our results compliment other research highlighting various problems of selection bias in world politics and suggest a new direction for future research on rivalry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-469
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Political Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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