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A simple mechanism for resolving conflict


  • Hortala-Vallve, Rafael
  • Llorente-Saguer, Aniol


In Conflict Resolution situations where two parties with opposed preferences need to make a number of decisions simultaneously, we propose a simple mechanism that endows agents with a certain number of votes that can be distributed freely across issues. This mechanism allows parties to trade off their voting power across issues and extract gains from differences in the intensities of their preferences. The appealing properties of such a mechanism may be negated by strategic interactions among individuals. We test its properties using controlled laboratory experiments. We observe that equilibrium play increases over time and truthful/honest play decreases over time. The subjects almost reach the welfare predicted by the theory even when their behaviour is far from equilibrium. The fact that deviations from equilibrium do not do much damage to its welfare properties is a further argument in favour of the use of this mechanism in the real world.

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  • Hortala-Vallve, Rafael & Llorente-Saguer, Aniol, 2010. "A simple mechanism for resolving conflict," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 375-391, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:70:y:2010:i:2:p:375-391

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Casella, Alessandra & Gelman, Andrew & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2006. "An experimental study of storable votes," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 123-154, October.
    2. Alessandra Casella & Thomas Palfrey & Raymond Riezman, 2013. "Minorities and Storable Votes," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: International Trade Agreements and Political Economy, chapter 15, pages 247-282 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    3. Dirk Engelmann & Veronika Grimm, 2012. "Mechanisms for Efficient Voting with Private Information about Preferences," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(563), pages 1010-1041, September.
    4. Casella, Alessandra, 2005. "Storable votes," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 391-419, May.
    5. Rafael Hortala-Vallve, 2012. "Qualitative voting," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 24(4), pages 526-554, October.
    6. Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Sergiu Hart, 2008. "Discrete Colonel Blotto and General Lotto games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 36(3), pages 441-460, March.
    8. Matthew O Jackson & Hugo F Sonnenschein, 2007. "Overcoming Incentive Constraints by Linking Decisions -super-1," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(1), pages 241-257, January.
    9. Szentes, Balazs & Rosenthal, Robert W., 2003. "Three-object two-bidder simultaneous auctions: chopsticks and tetrahedra," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 114-133, July.
    10. Phillips, Lawrence D. & Bana e Costa, Carlos A., 2005. "Transparent prioritisation, budgeting and resource allocation with multi-criteria decision analysis and decision conferencing," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 22742, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    11. Fany Yuval, 2002. "Sophisticated Voting Under the Sequential Voting by Veto 1," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 53(4), pages 343-369, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Brian Roberson & Dmitriy Kvasov, 2012. "The non-constant-sum Colonel Blotto game," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 51(2), pages 397-433, October.
    2. Bouton, Laurent & Castanheira, Micael & Llorente-Saguer, Aniol, 2016. "Divided majority and information aggregation: Theory and experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 114-128.
    3. Maria Montero & Alex Possajennikov & Martin Sefton & Theodore L. Turocy, 2016. "Majoritarian Blotto contests with asymmetric battlefields: an experiment on apex games," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 61(1), pages 55-89, January.
    4. Casella, Alessandra & Turban, Sébastien, 2014. "Democracy undone. Systematic minority advantage in competitive vote markets," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 47-70.
    5. repec:pit:wpaper:509 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Emmanuel Dechenaux & Dan Kovenock & Roman Sheremeta, 2015. "A survey of experimental research on contests, all-pay auctions and tournaments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(4), pages 609-669, December.
    7. Alessandra Casella & Aniol Llorente-Saguer & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2012. "Competitive Equilibrium in Markets for Votes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(4), pages 593-658.
    8. Dan J. Kovenock & Brian Roberson, 2015. "The Optimal Defense of Network Connectivity," CESifo Working Paper Series 5653, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. repec:eee:jeborg:v:139:y:2017:i:c:p:88-105 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. repec:eee:joepsy:v:63:y:2017:i:c:p:117-134 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Rafael Hortala-Vallve & Aniol Llorente-Saguer & Rosemarie Nagel, 2013. "The role of information in different bargaining protocols," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 16(1), pages 88-113, March.
    12. Erik O. Kimbrough & Kevin Laughren & Roman Sheremeta, 2017. "War and Conflict in Economics: Theories, Applications, and Recent Trends," Discussion Papers dp17-10, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
    13. Goeree, Jacob K. & Zhang, Jingjing, 2017. "One man, one bid," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 151-171.
    14. Arad Ayala, 2012. "The Tennis Coach Problem: A Game-Theoretic and Experimental Study," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-43, April.
    15. Dan Kovenock & Brian Roberson, 2010. "The Optimal Defense of Networks of Targets," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1251, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
    16. Shakun D. Mago & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2012. "Multi-Battle Contests: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 12-06, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    17. Zeynep B. Irfanoglu & Shakun D. Mago & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2014. "The New Hampshire Effect: Behavior in Sequential and Simultaneous Election Contests," Working Papers 14-15, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    18. Irfanoglu, Zeynep & Mago, Shakun & Sheremeta, Roman, 2015. "New Hampshire Effect: Behavior in Sequential and Simultaneous Election Contests," MPRA Paper 67520, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Casella Alessandra & Ehrenberg Shuky & Gelman Andrew & Shen Jie, 2010. "Protecting Minorities in Large Binary Elections: A Test of Storable Votes Using Field Data," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-35, October.
    20. Deck, Cary & Sheremeta, Roman, 2015. "Tug-of-War in the Laboratory," MPRA Paper 67521, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    21. Arad, Ayala & Rubinstein, Ariel, 2012. "Multi-dimensional iterative reasoning in action: The case of the Colonel Blotto game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 571-585.
    22. Scott Macdonell & Nick Mastronardi, 2015. "Waging simple wars: a complete characterization of two-battlefield Blotto equilibria," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 58(1), pages 183-216, January.
    23. Kwiek, Maksymilian & Marreiros, Helia & Vlassopoulos, Michael, 2016. "An experimental study of voting with costly delay," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 140(C), pages 23-26.
    24. Avrahami, Judith & Kareev, Yaakov & Todd, Peter M. & Silverman, Boaz, 2014. "Allocation of resources in asymmetric competitions: How do the weak maintain a chance of winning?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 161-174.


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