IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Communication in intergroup conflicts

  • Leibbrandt, Andreas
  • Sääksvuori, Lauri

Numerous studies suggest that communication may be a universal means to mitigate collective action problems. In this study, we challenge this view and show that the communication structure crucially determines whether communication mitigates or intensifies rent-seeking for pure public goods. We observe the effect of different communication structures in the context of a finitely repeated intergroup contest and demonstrate that conflict expenditures are significantly higher if communication is restricted to one's own group as compared to a situation with no communication. However, expenditures are significantly lower if open communication within one's own group and between rivaling groups is allowed. We show that under open communication intergroup conflicts are avoided by groups taking turns in winning the contest. Our results do not only qualify the role of communication for collective action but may also provide insights on how to mitigate the destructive nature of intergroup conflict and group rent-seeking.

If 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.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 56 (2012)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 1136-1147

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:56:y:2012:i:6:p:1136-1147
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. Simon Gachter & Ernst Fehr, 2000. "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 980-994, September.
  2. Klaus Abbink & Jordi Brandts & Benedikt Herrmann & Henrik Orzen, 2009. "Inter-Group Conflict and Intra-Group Punishment in an Experimental Contest Game," Discussion Papers 2009-03, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  3. Katz, Eliakim & Nitzan, Shmuel & Rosenberg, Jacob, 1990. " Rent-Seeking for Pure Public Goods," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 65(1), pages 49-60, April.
  4. Nitzan, Shmuel, 1994. "Modelling rent-seeking contests," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 41-60, May.
  5. Frans van Dijk & Joep Sonnemans & Frans van Winden, 2000. "Incentive Systems in a Real Effort Experiment," CESifo Working Paper Series 272, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Krueger, Anne O, 1974. "The Political Economy of the Rent-Seeking Society," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(3), pages 291-303, June.
  7. Edward Millner & Michael Pratt, 1989. "An experimental investigation of efficient rent-seeking," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 62(2), pages 139-151, August.
  8. Olivier Bochet & Talbot Page & Louis Putterman, 2005. "Communication and Punishment in Voluntary Contribution Experiments," Working Papers 2005-09, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  9. Nalbantian, Haig & Schotter, Andrew, 1994. "Productivity Under Group Incentives: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 94-04, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  10. Benedikt Herrmann & Henrik Orzen, 2008. "The appearance of homo rivalis: Social preferences and the nature of rent seeking," Discussion Papers 2008-10, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  11. Potters, Jan & de Vries, Casper G. & van Winden, Frans, 1998. "An experimental examination of rational rent-seeking," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 783-800, November.
  12. Snyder, James M, 1989. "Election Goals and the Allocation of Campaign Resources," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 637-60, May.
  13. Cason, Timothy & Sheremeta, Roman & Zhang, Jingjing, 2012. "Communication and Efficiency in Competitive Coordination Games," MPRA Paper 52107, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Andreas Leibbrandt & Raúl López-Pérez, 2008. "The Envious Punisher: Understanding Third and Second Party Punishment with Simple Games," IEW - Working Papers 373, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  15. McCutcheon, Barbara, 1997. "Do Meetings in Smoke-Filled Rooms Facilitate Collusion?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 330-50, April.
  16. Michihiro Kandori & Hitoshi Matsushima, 1998. "Private Observation, Communication and Collusion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 627-652, May.
  17. Isaac, R Mark & Reynolds, Stanley S, 1988. "Appropriability and Market Structure in a Stochastic Invention Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(4), pages 647-71, November.
  18. Matthias Sutter & Christina Strassmair, 2007. "Communication, cooperation and collusion in team tournaments ? An experimental study," Working Papers 2007-19, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  19. Dasgupta, Partha & Stiglitz, Joseph, 1980. "Industrial Structure and the Nature of Innovative Activity," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 266-93, June.
  20. Roger Congleton, 1986. "Rent-seeking aspects of political advertising," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 49(3), pages 249-263, January.
  21. Rabin, Matthew, 1991. "A Model of Pre-Game Communication," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt902697n7, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  22. Charles Noussair & Steven Tucker, 2005. "Combining Monetary and Social Sanctions to Promote Cooperation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(3), pages 649-660, July.
  23. Daniel Balliet, 2010. "Communication and Cooperation in Social Dilemmas: A Meta-Analytic Review," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 54(1), pages 39-57, February.
  24. Angelopoulos, Konstantinos & Philippopoulos, Apostolis & Vassilatos, Vanghelis, 2009. "The social cost of rent seeking in Europe," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 280-299, September.
  25. Esser, James K., 1998. "Alive and Well after 25 Years: A Review of Groupthink Research," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 73(2-3), pages 116-141, February.
  26. Konrad, Kai A., 2009. "Strategy and Dynamics in Contests," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199549603.
  27. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:56:y:2012:i:6:p:1136-1147. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.