A Theory of Brinkmanship, Conflicts, and Commitments
Many conflicts and negotiations can be viewed as dynamic games in which parties have no commitment power. In our model, a potential aggressor demands concessions from a weaker party by threatening war. The absence of commitment makes a continuous stream of transfers a more effective appeasement strategy than a lump-sum transfer. As long as both sides have constant marginal utility of consumption, it is possible to construct a self-enforcing peace agreement even if transfers shift the balance of power. When marginal utility of consumption is decreasing, a self-enforcing peace agreement may not be feasible. The bargaining power of the potential aggressor increases dramatically if she is able to make probabilistic threats, for example, by taking an observable action that leads to war with a positive probability. This "brinkmanship strategy" allows a blackmailer to extract a positive stream of payments from the victim, even if carrying out the threat is harmful to both parties. Our results are applicable to environments ranging from diplomacy to negotiations within or among firms and are aimed to bring together "parallel" investigations in the nature of commitment in economics and political science. The Author 2007. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Yale University. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Oxford University Press.
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.
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.
Volume (Year): 24 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (May)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, UK|
Fax: 01865 267 985
Web page: http://jleo.oupjournals.org/
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.oup.co.uk/journals|
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.:
- Sandeep Baliga & Tomas Sjöström, 2004.
"Arms Races and Negotiations,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Oxford University Press, vol. 71(2), pages 351-369.
- Sandeep Baliga & Tomas Sjostrom, 2001. "Arms Races and Negotiations," Levine's Working Paper Archive 391749000000000005, David K. Levine.
- Sandeep Baliga & Tomas Sjostrom, 2003. "Arms Races and Negotiations," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000766, David K. Levine.
- Sandeep Baliga & Tomas Sjostrom, 2001. "Arms Races and Negotiations," Economics Working Papers 0007, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
- Sandeep Baliga & Tomas Sjostrom, 2001. "Arms Races and Negotiations," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 391749000000000005, www.najecon.org.
- Balinga, Sandeep & Sjostrom, Tomas, 2001. "Arms Races and Negotiations," Working Papers 3-01-2, Pennsylvania State University, Department of Economics.
- Rajan, Raghuram G. & Zingales, Luigi, 2000. "The tyranny of inequality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 521-558, June.
- Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 1995. "The Tyranny of Inequality," NBER Working Papers 5396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 1999. "The Tyranny of Inequality," CRSP working papers 423, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
- Steven Shavell & Kathryn Spier, 1995. "Threats Without Binding Commitment," Discussion Papers 1139, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Steven Shavell & Kathryn Spier, 1996. "Threats without Binding Commitment," NBER Working Papers 5461, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- R. Harrison Wagner, 1982. "Deterrence and Bargaining," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 26(2), pages 329-358, June.
- Jack Hirshleifer, 2001. "Appeasement: Can It Work?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 342-346, May.
- Jack Hirshleifer, 2000. "Appeasement: Can It Work?," UCLA Economics Working Papers 798, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Fearon, James D., 1995. "Rationalist explanations for war," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(03), pages 379-414, June.
- L. Wade, 1988. "Review," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 99-100, July.
- Avinash Dixit & Gene M. Grossman & Faruk Gul, 2000. "The Dynamics of Political Compromise," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 531-568, June.
- Shavell Steven & Spier Kathryn E., 2002. "Threats Without Binding Commitment," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-11, January.
- Alastair Smith & Allan C. Stam, 2004. "Bargaining and the Nature of War," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 48(6), pages 783-813, December.
- Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A, 2002. "Economic Backwardness in Political Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 3261, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2002. "Economic Backwardness in Political Perspective," NBER Working Papers 8831, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gary S. Becker, 1983. "A Theory of Competition Among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)