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Conflict and Deterrence under Strategic Risk

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  • Sylvain Chassang

    (Princeton University.)

  • Gerard Padró i Miquel

    (London School of Economics, Bureau of Research and Economic Analysis of Development, Centre for Economic Policy Research, and National Bureau of Economic Research.)

Abstract

We examine the determinants of cooperation and the effectiveness of deterrence when fear is a motive for conflict. We contrast results obtained in a complete information setting with those obtained in a setting with strategic risk, where players have different information about their environment. These two strategic settings allow us to identify and distinguish the role of predatory and preemptive incentives as determinants of cooperation and conflict. In our model, weapons unambiguously facilitate peace under complete information. In contrast, under strategic risk, we show that increases in weapon stocks can have a nonmonotonic effect on the sustainability of cooperation. We also show that under strategic risk, asymmetry in military strength can facilitate peace, and that anticipated peacekeeping interventions may improve incentives for peaceful behavior. (c) 2010 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology..

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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 125 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 1821-1858

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:125:y:2010:i:4:p:1821-1858

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