Third-Party Intervention in Conflicts and the Indirect Samaritan's Dilemma
AbstractI study a two-period model of conflict with two combatants and a third party who is an ally of one of the combatants. The third party is fully informed about the type of her ally but not about the type of her ally’s enemy. There is a signaling game between the third party and her ally’s enemy where preferences do not satisfy the single-crossing condition. There exist perfect Bayesian equilibria in which the third party’s intervention worsens the conflict by energizing her ally’s enemy wherein he (i.e., the enemy) pretends to be stronger than he actually is in order to discourage the third-party from assisting her ally. This creates a dilemma for the third party which may be referred to as the indirect Samaritan’s dilemma. I find that the expectation of a third-party’s military assistance to an ally coupled with the third-party’s limited information about the strength of her ally’s enemy can be strategically exploited by the enemy through pronouncements that would not have been credible if the third party was fully informed about her ally’s enemy. Remarkably, the third-party’s ally, who is fully informed about the enemy, is unable to counteract this behavior by using credible signals to reveal his information to the third party. In some cases, the third party and her ally are strictly better off if the third-party’s decision to withdraw from or stay in the conflict is based on her prior beliefs and not on the current conditions of the conflict even if observing the current conditions improves the third-party’s information. Unlike the standard Samaritan’s dilemma, a commitment by the third party to a given level of assistance may be welfare-improving.
Download InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2695.
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Bayesian equilibrium; Grossman-Perry refinement; conflict; intuitive criterion; Samaritan’s dilemma;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances
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.:
- Johan Lagerlof, 2002.
"Efficiency-Enhancing Signalling in the Samaritan's Dilemma,"
- Johan Lagerl–f, 2004. "Efficiency-enhancing signalling in the Samaritan's dilemma," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(492), pages 55-69, 01.
- Lagerlöf, Johan N.M., 2003. "Efficiency-Enhancing Signalling in the Samaritan's Dilemma," CEPR Discussion Papers 3842, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Kevin Siqueira, 2003. "Conflict and third-party intervention," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(6), pages 389-400.
- Bruce, Neil & Waldman, Michael, 1990.
"The Rotten-Kid Theorem Meets the Samaritan's Dilemma,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 105(1), pages 155-65, February.
- Neil Bruce & Michael Waldman, 1986. "The Rotten-Kid Theorem Meets the Samaritan's Dilemma," UCLA Economics Working Papers 402, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Neil Bruce & Michael Waldman, 1986. "The Rotten-Kid Theorem Meets the Samaritan's Dilemma," Working Papers 650, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
- Cho, In-Koo & Kreps, David M, 1987.
"Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 102(2), pages 179-221, May.
- Carrillo, Juan D & Mariotti, Thomas, 2000. "Strategic Ignorance as a Self-Disciplining Device," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 529-44, July.
- Christopher Blattman & Edward Miguel, 2010.
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 48(1), pages 3-57, March.
- Christopher Blattman & Edward Miguel, 2009. "Civil War," NBER Working Papers 14801, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Blattman, Christopher & Miguel, Edward, 2009. "Civil War," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt90n356hs, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Bergstrom, Theodore & Blume, Lawrence & Varian, Hal, 1986. "On the private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-49, February.
- Bernheim, B Douglas & Stark, Oded, 1988. "Altruism within the Family Reconsidered: Do Nice Guys Finish Last?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1034-45, December.
- Johannes H�rner & Nicolas Sahuguet, 2007. "Costly Signalling in Auctions -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 173-206.
- Jun Zhang & Ruqu Wang, 2009. "The Role of Information Revelation in Elimination Contests," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(536), pages 613-641, 03.
- Amegashie, J. Atsu & Kutsoati, Edward, 2007.
"(Non)intervention in intra-state conflicts,"
European Journal of Political Economy,
Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 754-767, September.
- Johannes Münster, 2009. "Repeated Contests with Asymmetric Information," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 11(1), pages 89-118, 02.
- Sandeep Baliga & Tomas SjÃ¶strÃ¶m, 2008.
"Strategic Ambiguity and Arms Proliferation,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(6), pages 1023-1057, December.
- Chang, Yang-Ming & Potter, Joel & Sanders, Shane, 2007. "War and peace: Third-party intervention in conflict," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 954-974, December.
- Coate, Stephen, 1995. "Altruism, the Samaritan's Dilemma, and Government Transfer Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 46-57, March.
- Banks, Jeffrey S & Sobel, Joel, 1987.
"Equilibrium Selection in Signaling Games,"
Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 647-61, May.
- Blouin, Max & Pallage, Stéphane, 2009.
"Addressing the food aid curse,"
Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 49-51, July.
- David Andolfatto, 1999.
"A Theory of Inalienable Property Rights,"
99004, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics, revised Nov 1999.
- Clark, Derek J & Riis, Christian, 1998. "Competition over More Than One Prize," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 276-89, March.
- Cho, In-Koo & Sobel, Joel, 1990. "Strategic stability and uniqueness in signaling games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 381-413, April.
- Slantchev, Branislav L., 2010. "Feigning Weakness," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 64(03), pages 357-388, July.
- Grossman, Sanford J. & Perry, Motty, 1986. "Perfect sequential equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 97-119, June.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Julio Saavedra).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.