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Side-payments and the costs of conflict

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  • Kimbrough, Erik O.
  • Sheremeta, Roman M.

Abstract

Conflict and competition often impose costs on both winners and losers, and conflicting parties may prefer to resolve a dispute before it occurs. The equilibrium of a conflict game with side-payments predicts that with binding offers, proposers make and responders accept side-payments, generating settlements that strongly favor proposers. When side-payments are non-binding, proposers offer nothing and conflicts always arise. Laboratory experiments confirm that binding side-payments reduce conflicts. However, 30% of responders reject binding offers, and offers are more egalitarian than predicted. Surprisingly, non-binding side-payments also improve efficiency, although less than binding. With binding side-payments, 87% of efficiency gains come from avoided conflicts. However, with non-binding side-payments, only 39% of gains come from avoided conflicts and 61% from reduced conflict expenditures.

Suggested Citation

  • Kimbrough, Erik O. & Sheremeta, Roman M., 2013. "Side-payments and the costs of conflict," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 278-286.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:31:y:2013:i:3:p:278-286
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ijindorg.2012.01.005
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Contests; Conflict resolution; Side-payments; Experiments;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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