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Commitment Problems in Conflict Resolution

Author

Listed:
  • Erik O. Kimbrough

    (Simon Fraser University)

  • Jared Rubin

    (Chapman University)

  • Roman M. Sheremeta

    () (Chapman University)

  • Timothy Shields

    (Chapman University)

Abstract

Commitment problems are inherent to non-binding conflict resolution mechanisms, since an unsatisfied party can ignore the resolution and initiate conflict. We provide experimental evidence suggesting that even in the absence of binding contractual agreements individuals often avoid conflict by committing to the outcome of a conflict resolution mechanism. Commitment problems are mitigated to a greater extent for groups who opt-in to the conflict resolution mechanism, but only when opting-in is costly. Although conflict rates are higher when opting-in is costly than when it is free or exogenously imposed, commitment problems are greatly reduced amongst those groups who choose to opt-in.

Suggested Citation

  • Erik O. Kimbrough & Jared Rubin & Roman M. Sheremeta & Timothy Shields, 2013. "Commitment Problems in Conflict Resolution," Working Papers 13-11, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:chu:wpaper:13-11
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Roman M. Sheremeta, 2016. "The pros and cons of workplace tournaments," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 302-302, October.
    3. Kimbrough, Erik O. & Sheremeta, Roman M. & Shields, Timothy W., 2014. "When parity promotes peace: Resolving conflict between asymmetric agents," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 96-108.
    4. Roman M. Sheremeta, 2014. "Behavioral Dimensions of Contests," Working Papers 14-14, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    5. Lacomba, Juan A. & Lagos, Francisco & Reuben, Ernesto & van Winden, Frans, 2017. "Decisiveness, peace, and inequality in games of conflict," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 216-229.
    6. Emmanuel Dechenaux & Dan Kovenock & Roman Sheremeta, 2015. "A survey of experimental research on contests, all-pay auctions and tournaments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(4), pages 609-669, December.
    7. Kimbrough, Erik & Laughren, Kevin & Sheremeta, Roman, 2017. "War and Conflict in Economics: Theories, Applications, and Recent Trends," MPRA Paper 80277, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Sheremeta, Roman, 2015. "Behavior in Group Contests: A Review of Experimental Research," MPRA Paper 67515, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. repec:eee:joepsy:v:63:y:2017:i:c:p:199-215 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Sheremeta, Roman, 2014. "Behavior in Contests," MPRA Paper 57451, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    conflict resolution; commitment problem; opting-in; contests; 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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