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Mediation and Peace

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  • Johannes Hörner
  • Massimo Morelli
  • Francesco Squintani

Abstract

This article applies mechanism design to the study of international conflict resolution. Standard mechanisms in which an arbitrator can enforce her decisions are usually not feasible because disputants are sovereign entities. Nevertheless, we find that this limitation is inconsequential. Despite only being capable of making unenforceable recommendations, mediators can be equally effective as arbitrators. By using recommendation strategies that do not reveal that one player is weak to a strong opponent, a mediator can effectively circumvent the unenforceability constraint. This is because these strategies make the strong player agree to recommendations that yield the same payoff as arbitration in expectation. This result relies on the capability of mediators to collect confidential information from the disputants, before making their recommendations. Simple protocols of unmediated communication cannot achieve the same level of ex ante welfare, as they preclude confidentiality.

Suggested Citation

  • Johannes Hörner & Massimo Morelli & Francesco Squintani, 2015. "Mediation and Peace," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(4), pages 1483-1501.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:82:y:2015:i:4:p:1483-1501.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/restud/rdv022
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Michael D. König & Dominic Rohner & Mathias Thoenig & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2016. "The Long-lasting Shadow of the Allied Occupation of Austria on its Spatial Equilibrium," HiCN Working Papers 231, Households in Conflict Network.
    2. Mostafa Beshkar & Jee-Hyeong Park, 2017. "Dispute Settlement with Second-Order Uncertainty: The Case of International Trade Disputes," CAEPR Working Papers 2017-010, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Department of Economics, Indiana University Bloomington.
    3. Herbst, Luisa & Konrad, Kai A. & Morath, Florian, 2017. "Balance of power and the propensity of conflict," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 168-184.
    4. repec:eee:jetheo:v:180:y:2019:i:c:p:135-166 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Corchón, Luis C. & Yıldızparlak, Anıl, 2013. "Give peace a chance: The effect of ownership and asymmetric information on peace," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 116-126.
    6. 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.
    7. Kim, Jin Yeub, 2017. "Interim third-party selection in bargaining," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 645-665.
    8. Iaryczower, Matias & Oliveros, Santiago, 2016. "Power brokers: Middlemen in legislative bargaining," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 209-236.
    9. Goltsman, Maria & Pavlov, Gregory, 2014. "Communication in Cournot oligopoly," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 152-176.
    10. Wolton, Stephane, 2018. "Signaling in the shadow of conflict," MPRA Paper 83922, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Ganguly, Chirantan & Ray, Indrajit, 2015. "Information-Revelation and Coordination Using Cheap Talk in a Game with Two-Sided Private Information," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2015/7, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section.
    12. Catalina Tejada & Eliana Ferrara & Henrik Kleven & Florian Blum & Oriana Bandiera & Michel Azulai, 2015. "State Effectiveness, Growth, and Development," Working Papers id:6668, eSocialSciences.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    mediation; arbitration; cheap talk; mechanism design; conflict;

    JEL classification:

    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory

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