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Commitment Problems in Conflict Resolution

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  • Erik O. Kimbrough

    (Simon Fraser University)

  • Jared Rubin

    (Chapman University)

  • Roman M. Sheremeta

    ()
    (Chapman University)

  • Timothy Shields

    (Chapman University)

Abstract

Commitment problems are inherent to non-binding conflict resolution mechanisms, since an unsatisfied party can ignore the resolution and initiate conflict. We provide experimental evidence suggesting that even in the absence of binding contractual agreements individuals often avoid conflict by committing to the outcome of a conflict resolution mechanism. Commitment problems are mitigated to a greater extent for groups who opt-in to the conflict resolution mechanism, but only when opting-in is costly. Although conflict rates are higher when opting-in is costly than when it is free or exogenously imposed, commitment problems are greatly reduced amongst those groups who choose to opt-in.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Chapman University, Economic Science Institute in its series Working Papers with number 13-11.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:chu:wpaper:13-11

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Keywords: conflict resolution; commitment problem; opting-in; contests; experiments;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Kimbrough, Erik O. & Sheremeta, Roman M. & Shields, Timothy W., 2014. "When parity promotes peace: Resolving conflict between asymmetric agents," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 96-108.

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