Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

A Theory of Brinkmanship, Conflicts, and Commitments

Contents:

Author Info

  • Konstantin Sonin

Abstract

Many conflicts and negotiations can be viewed as dynamic games in which parties have no commitment power. In our model, a potential aggressor demands concessions from a weaker party by threatening war. The absence of commitment makes a continuous stream of transfers a more effective appeasement strategy than a lump-sum transfer. As long as both sides have constant marginal utility of consumption, it is possible to construct a self-enforcing peace agreement even if transfers shift the balance of power. When marginal utility of consumption is decreasing, a self-enforcing peace agreement may not be feasible. The bargaining power of the potential aggressor increases dramatically if she is able to make probabilistic threats, for example, by taking an observable action that leads to war with a positive probability. This "brinkmanship strategy" allows a blackmailer to extract a positive stream of payments from the victim, even if carrying out the threat is harmful to both parties. Our results are applicable to environments ranging from diplomacy to negotiations within or among firms and are aimed to bring together "parallel" investigations in the nature of commitment in economics and political science. The Author 2007. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Yale University. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org, Oxford University Press.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/jleo/ewm038
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal The Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization.

Volume (Year): 24 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (May)
Pages: 163-183

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:24:y:2008:i:1:p:163-183

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, UK
Fax: 01865 267 985
Email:
Web page: http://jleo.oupjournals.org/

Order Information:
Web: http://www.oup.co.uk/journals

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Fearon, James D., 1995. "Rationalist explanations for war," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(03), pages 379-414, June.
  2. Balinga, Sandeep & Sjostrom, Tomas, 2001. "Arms Races and Negotiations," Working Papers 3-01-2, Pennsylvania State University, Department of Economics.
  3. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 1999. "The Tyranny of Inequality," CRSP working papers 423, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  4. Jack Hirshleifer, 2001. "Appeasement: Can It Work?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 342-346, May.
  5. Becker, Gary S, 1983. "A Theory of Competition among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400, August.
  6. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2002. "Economic Backwardness in Political Perspective," NBER Working Papers 8831, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Shavell Steven & Spier Kathryn E., 2002. "Threats Without Binding Commitment," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-11, January.
  8. Steven Shavell & Kathryn Spier, 1995. "Threats Without Binding Commitment," Discussion Papers 1139, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  9. Avinash Dixit & Gene M. Grossman & Faruk Gul, 2000. "The Dynamics of Political Compromise," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 531-568, June.
  10. L. Wade, 1988. "Review," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 99-100, July.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Daron Acemoglu & Georgy Egorov & Konstantin Sonin, 2012. "Dynamics and Stability of Constitutions, Coalitions, and Clubs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1446-76, June.
  2. Yared, Pierre, 2010. "A dynamic theory of war and peace," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(5), pages 1921-1950, September.
  3. Horner, Johannes & Morelli, Massimo & Squintani, Francesco, 2011. "Mediation and Peace," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 67, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  4. Daron Acemoglu & Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski & Pierre Yared, 2011. "A Dynamic Theory of Resource Wars," NBER Working Papers 16682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Christian Fahrholz & Cezary Wójcik, 2010. "The Bail-Out! Positive Political Economics of Greek-type Crises in the EMU," CESifo Working Paper Series 3178, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. repec:cge:warwcg:66 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Pierre Yared & Gerard Padro i Miquel, 2010. "The Political Economy of Indirect Control," 2010 Meeting Papers 306, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Jackson, Matthew O. & Morelli, Massimo, . "Political bias and war," Working Papers 1247, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:24:y:2008:i:1:p:163-183. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.