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Resolving Conflicts by a Random Device

Author

Listed:
  • Erik O. Kimbrough

    (Department of Economics (AE1), School of Business and Economics, Maastricht University, The Netherlands)

  • Roman M. Sheremeta

    () (Argyros School of Business and Economics, Chapman University, USA)

  • Timothy Shields

    () (Argyros School of Business and Economics, Chapman University, USA)

Abstract

We examine conflict resolution via a random device. We model conflict as a two-agent rent-seeking contest for a fixed prize. Before conflict arises, both agents may agree to allocate the prize by coin flip to avoid the costs of conflict. In equilibrium, risk-neutral agents with relatively symmetric conflict capabilities agree to resolve the conflict by randomization. However, with sufficiently asymmetric capabilities, conflicts are unavoidable because the stronger agent prefers to fight. Laboratory experiments confirm that the availability of the random device partially eliminates conflicts when agents are relatively symmetric; however, the device also reduces conflict between substantially asymmetric agents.

Suggested Citation

  • Erik O. Kimbrough & Roman M. Sheremeta & Timothy Shields, 2011. "Resolving Conflicts by a Random Device," Working Papers 11-09, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:chu:wpaper:11-09
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    File URL: http://www.chapman.edu/ESI/wp/Sherementa-Shields_ResolvingConflictsbyRandomDevice.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Sara Godoy & Miguel Meléndez-Jiménez & Antonio Morales, 2015. "No fight, no loss: underinvestment in experimental contest games," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 53-72, February.
    2. Tanja Hörtnagl & Rudolf Kerschbamer & Rudi Stracke & Uwe Sunde, 2013. "Heterogeneity in Rent-Seeking Contests with Multiple Stages: Theory and Experimental Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 4435, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Roman M. Sheremeta, 2013. "Overbidding And Heterogeneous Behavior In Contest Experiments," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(3), pages 491-514, July.
    4. Kimbrough, Erik O. & Rubin, Jared & Sheremeta, Roman M. & Shields, Timothy W., 2015. "Commitment problems in conflict resolution," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 33-45.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Beauty contest; conflict resolution; experiments;

    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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