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Reputation and Cooperation in Defense

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Author Info

  • David Hugh-Jones

    (Department of Economics, Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK)

  • Ro’i Zultan

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel)

Abstract

Surprisingly high levels of within-group cooperation are observed in conflict situations. Experiments confirm that external threats lead to higher cooperation. The psychological literature suggests proximate explanations in the form of group processes, but does not explain how these processes can evolve and persist. The authors provide an ultimate explanation, in which cooperation is a rational response to an external threat. In the model, groups vary in their willingness to help each other against external attackers. Attackers infer cooperativeness of groups from members' behavior under attack and may be deterred by a group that bands together against an initial attack. Then, even self-interested individuals may defend each other when threatened in order to deter future attacks. A group's reputation is a public good with a natural weakest-link structure. The model extends to cooperative and altruistic behavior in general.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Peace Science Society (International) in its journal Journal of Conflict Resolution.

Volume (Year): 57 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 327-355

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Handle: RePEc:sae:jocore:v:57:y:2013:i:2:p:327-355

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Web page: http://pss.la.psu.edu/

Related research

Keywords: cooperation; conflict; defense; signaling; collective reputation;

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References

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  1. Paul Milgrom & John Roberts, 1997. "Predation, reputation , and entry deterrence," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1460, David K. Levine.
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  12. Hendon, Ebbe & Jacobsen, Hans Jorgen & Sloth, Birgitte, 1996. "The One-Shot-Deviation Principle for Sequential Rationality," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 274-282, February.
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