Threats Without Binding Commitment
AbstractThis paper explores the power of threats in the absence of binding commitment. The threatener cannot commit to carry out the threat if the victim refuses payment, and cannot commit not to carry out the threat if payment is made. If exercising the threat is costly to the threatener, then the threat cannot succeed in extracting money from the victim. If exercising the threat would benefit the threatner, however, then the threat's success depends upon whether the threat may be repeated. In the equilibrium of a finite-period game, the threat is carried out and the victim makes no payments. In an infinite-horizon game, however, it is an equilibrium for the victims to make a stream of payments over time. The expectation of future payments keeps the threatener from exercising the threat.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science in its series Discussion Papers with number 1139.
Date of creation: Sep 1995
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Postal: Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science, Northwestern University, 580 Jacobs Center, 2001 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208-2014
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Other versions of this item:
- K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
- C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
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