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Brothers in arms – An experiment on the alliance puzzle

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  • Ke, Changxia
  • Konrad, Kai A.
  • Morath, Florian

Abstract

The generic alliance game considers players in an alliance who fight against an external enemy. After victory, the alliance may break up, and its members may fight against each other over the spoils of the victory. Our experimental analysis of this game shows: In-group solidarity vanishes after the break-up of the alliance. Former ‘brothers in arms’ fight even more vigorously against each other than strangers do. Furthermore, this vigorous internal fighting is anticipated and reduces the ability of the alliance to mobilize the joint fighting effort, compared to a situation in which victorious alliance members share the spoils of victory equally and peacefully.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

Volume (Year): 77 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 61-76

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:77:y:2013:i:1:p:61-76

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

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Keywords: Alliance; Conflict; Contest; Free-riding; Hold-up problem; In-group solidarity;

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Cited by:
  1. Ke, Changxia & Konrad, Kai A. & Morath, Florian, 2013. "Alliances in the Shadow of Conflict," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 420, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  2. Lacomba, Juan A. & Lagos, Francisco & Reuben, Ernesto & van Winden, Frans, 2013. "On the Escalation and De-Escalation of Conflict," IZA Discussion Papers 7492, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Roman M. Sheremeta, 2013. "Overbidding and Heterogeneous Behavior in Contest Experiments," Working Papers 13-06, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  4. Herbst, Luisa & Konrad, Kai A. & Morath, Florian, 2013. "Endogenous group formation in experimental contests," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change SP II 2013-301, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  5. Beekman, Gonne & Cheung, Stephen L. & Levely, Ian, 2014. "The Effect of Conflict History on Cooperation Within and Between Groups: Evidence from a Laboratory Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 8287, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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