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Why Can’t We Be Friends? Entitlements, bargaining, and conflict

  • Erik O. Kimbrough

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University, Canada)

  • Roman M. Sheremeta

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

We design an experiment to explore the impact of earned entitlements on the frequency and intensity of conflicts in a two-stage bargaining and conflict game with side-payments. In this game, residents (Proposers) make side-payment offers and contestants (Responders) decide whether to accept the offers and whether to engage in a conflict. When subjects earn their roles, conflicts are 44% more likely to be avoided than when roles are assigned randomly. Earned rights impact behavior in three important ways: (1) residents who have earned their position persistently offer larger side-payments; (2) larger offers lead to a lower probability of conflict, but (3) residents whose offers do not lead to conflict resolution respond spitefully and exhibit greater conflict expenditure. Hence, with earned rights, the positive welfare effects of reduced conflict frequency are offset by higher conflict intensity.

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Paper provided by Chapman University, Economic Science Institute in its series Working Papers with number 12-16.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:chu:wpaper:12-16
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  1. Sheremeta, Roman & Zhang, Jingjing, 2009. "Can Groups Solve the Problem of Over-Bidding in Contests?," MPRA Paper 49885, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. 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.
  3. Kimbrough, Erik O. & Smith, Vernon L. & Wilson, Bart J., 2010. "Exchange, theft, and the social formation of property," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 74(3), pages 206-229, June.
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  6. Oxoby, Robert J. & Spraggon, John, 2008. "Mine and yours: Property rights in dictator games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 703-713, March.
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  13. Sheremeta, Roman, 2009. "Expenditures and Information Disclosure in Two-Stage Political Contests," MPRA Paper 49887, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
  15. Roman M. Sheremeta, 2009. "Experimental Comparison of Multi-Stage and One-Stage Contests," Working Papers 09-04, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  16. Hoffman Elizabeth & McCabe Kevin & Shachat Keith & Smith Vernon, 1994. "Preferences, Property Rights, and Anonymity in Bargaining Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 346-380, November.
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  18. Catherine Hafer, 2006. "On the Origins of Property Rights: Conflict and Productionin the State of Nature," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 119-143.
  19. Subhasish M. Chowdhury & Roman M. Sheremeta & Theodore L. Turocy, 2012. "Overdissipation and Convergence in Rent-seeking Experiments: Cost structure and prize allocation rules," Working Papers 12-13, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
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  23. Roman M. Sheremeta, 2009. "Contest Design: An Experimental Investigation," Working Papers 09-05, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  24. Laura Schechter, 2007. "Theft, Gift-Giving, and Trustworthiness: Honesty Is Its Own Reward in Rural Paraguay," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1560-1582, December.
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