The Age of Revolution, 1789–1914

in Castles, Battles, & Bombs

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2008 | ISBN: 9780226071633
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226071657 | DOI:
The Age of Revolution, 1789–1914

Show Summary Details


Italian city-states attempted to overcome hidden action problems that came from contracts with condottieri. The theory of asymmetric information, at least the economic part of it, provides a rich tapestry by which to read history. This chapter examines elements of the hidden characteristics aspect of asymmetric information by focusing on the Age of Revolution (1789–1914). It discusses information and warfare in general terms before turning to the American Civil War and analyzing specific eastern campaigns in that war. The combatants in the east were well balanced; the Union had the numerical advantage, while the Confederates could wage a strategically defensive war aided by Virginia's formidable geographical obstacles. This chapter also suggests possible applications of the other principles of economics employed in this book to the American Civil War (opportunity cost, expected marginal costs and benefits, substitution, diminishing marginal returns, hidden action).

Keywords: asymmetric information; Civil War; economics; warfare; Virginia; opportunity cost; marginal costs; marginal benefits; substitution; diminishing marginal returns; hidden action

Chapter.  16186 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Military History

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.