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Conflict Resolution under Asymmetric Information


  • Helmut Bester


  • Karl Warneryd


We consider mechanisms for resolving conflicts between two agents who are uncertain about each other's fighting potential. Applications include international conflict, litigation, and elections. Even though only a peaceful agreement avoids a loss of resources, if this loss is small enough, then any mechanism must assign a positive probability of conflict. We show how the likelihood of conflict outbreak depends on the distribution of power between the agents and their information about each other.

Suggested Citation

  • Helmut Bester & Karl Warneryd, "undated". "Conflict Resolution under Asymmetric Information," Papers 006, Departmental Working Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:bef:lsbest:006

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Farrell, Joseph, 1987. "Information and the Coase Theorem," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 113-129, Fall.
    2. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
    3. Myerson, Roger B, 1979. "Incentive Compatibility and the Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 61-73, January.
    4. George J. Mailath & Andrew Postlewaite, 1990. "Asymmetric Information Bargaining Problems with Many Agents," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 351-367.
    5. Skaperdas, S. & Syropoulos, C., 1996. "Insecure Properties and the Stability of Exchange," Papers 95-96-8, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
    6. Grossman, Herschel I & Kim, Minseong, 1995. "Swords or Plowshares? A Theory of the Security of Claims to Property," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1275-1288, December.
    7. Peter Klibanoff & Jonathan Morduch, 1995. "Decentralization, Externalities, and Efficiency," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(2), pages 223-247.
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    Cited by:

    1. Garfinkel, M.R. & Skaperdas, S., 2000. "Conflict without Misperceptions or Incomplete Information: how the Future Matters," Papers 99-00-11, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
    2. Peter Stauvermann, 2002. "Why is there so much Peace?," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(1), pages 61-75.
    3. Stergios Skaperdas, 2003. "Restraining the Genuine Homo Economicus: Why the Economy Cannot Be Divorced from Its Governance," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(2), pages 135-162, July.
    4. Santiago Sanchez-Pages, 2004. "Conflict as a Part of the Bargaining Process: Theory and Empirical Evidence," ESE Discussion Papers 129, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.

    More about this item


    conflict; asymmetric information;

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies

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