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Commitment Problems in Conflict Resolution

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Author Info

  • 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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  1. Erik O. Kimbrough & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2012. "Side-Payments and the Costs of Conflict," Working Papers 12-01, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  2. Greif, Avner & Milgrom, Paul & Weingast, Barry R, 1994. "Coordination, Commitment, and Enforcement: The Case of the Merchant Guild," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 745-76, August.
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  7. Sheremeta, Roman, 2009. "Expenditures and Information Disclosure in Two-Stage Political Contests," MPRA Paper 49887, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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  12. Emmanuel Dechenaux & Dan Kovenock & Roman Sheremeta, 2012. "A Survey of Experimental Research on Contests, All-Pay Auctions and Tournaments," Working Papers 12-22, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  13. Pedro Dal Bo & Andrew Foster & Louis Putterman, 2007. "Institutions and Behavior: Experimental Evidence on the Effects of Democracy," Working Papers 2007-9, Brown University, Department of Economics.
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  22. Mago, Shakun & Samak, Anya & Sheremeta, Roman, 2013. "Facing Your Opponents: Social Identification and Information Feedback in Contests," MPRA Paper 47029, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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Cited by:
  1. Erik O. Kimbrough & Roman M. Sheremeta & Timothy W. Shields, 2013. "When Parity Promotes Peace: Resolving Conflict Between Asymmetric Agents," Working Papers 13-33, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.

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