Journal of Historical Political Economy > Vol 1 > Issue 2

Sea Power

Mark Koyama, George Mason University and CEPR. Carow Hall, USA, , Ahmed S. Rahman, Lehigh University and IZA. Department of Economics, College of Business, Lehigh University, USA, , Tuan-Hwee Sng, National University of Singapore and CASBS. Department of Economics, Singapore,
Suggested Citation
Mark Koyama, Ahmed S. Rahman and Tuan-Hwee Sng (2021), "Sea Power", Journal of Historical Political Economy: Vol. 1: No. 2, pp 155-182.

Publication Date: 03 Aug 2021
© 2021 M. Koyama, A. S. Rahman, and T.-H. Sng
International conflict,  Political Economy,  Panel Data
Sea powerconflictformal theory


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In this article:
Stylized Facts about Sea Power 
A Model of Sea power Competition 
Applying Our Model to the First Age of Globalization 
A Proofs for Section 3 
B Data Appendix 


How does sea power differ from land power? We introduce a formal model that explains several characteristics of sea power. Specifically, (i) sea power is more highly concentrated than land power; (ii) it follows cycles; and (iii) is characterized by periodic intensification of arms competition. We account for these features in terms of the high fixed costs and the capital-intensive nature of naval warfare. We find empirical support for our model using a newly digitized dataset of over two dozen navies during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.



Journal of Historical Political Economy, Volume 1, Issue 2 Special Issue - Frontiers in HPE: Articles Overview
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