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Bargaining and Conflict with Incomplete Information

This paper studies bargaining and conflict under incomplete information, provides an overview and a critical account of the literature on the topic and contributes with original research. We first revise models of mechanism design and sequential bargaining that take confrontation as final. Conflict and inefficiencies are to be expected in these models whenever parties have optimistic prospects on the outcome of the all-out conflict. After examining the causes and reasons for this optimism, we move to the analysis of the recent literature that considers the existence of limited confrontations that allow bargaining to resume. In the presence of private information, these limited conflicts convey information and thus become a bargaining instrument. The paper closes with a discussion on the related empirical literature, the challenges that it faces and some potential avenues for further research.

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Paper provided by Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh in its series ESE Discussion Papers with number 191.

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Length: 34
Date of creation: Oct 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:edn:esedps:191
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  1. Kennan, J. & Wilson, R., 1991. "Bargaining with Private Information," Working Papers 90-01rev, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  2. Muthoo,Abhinay, 1999. "Bargaining Theory with Applications," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521576475, November.
  3. Coase, Ronald H, 1972. "Durability and Monopoly," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 143-49, April.
  4. Tirole, Jean & Levine, David & Fudenberg, Drew, 1987. "Incomplete Information Bargaining with Outside Opportunities," Scholarly Articles 3196301, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Kathryn E. Spier, 1992. "The Dynamics of Pretrial Negotiation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(1), pages 93-108.
  6. Peter Cramton & Joseph S. Tracy, 1992. "Strikes and Holdouts in Wage Bargaining: Theory and Data," Papers of Peter Cramton 92aer, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 09 Jun 1998.
  7. Bester, Helmut & Wärneryd, Karl, 2006. "Conflict and the Social Contract," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 94, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  8. Nash, John, 1950. "The Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 18(2), pages 155-162, April.
  9. Myerson, Roger B. & Satterthwaite, Mark A., 1983. "Efficient mechanisms for bilateral trading," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 265-281, April.
  10. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1991. "The Technology of Conflict as an Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 130-34, May.
  11. Stergios Skaperdas, 1996. "Contest success functions (*)," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 7(2), pages 283-290.
  12. Lucian Arye Bebchuk, 1984. "Litigation and Settlement under Imperfect Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(3), pages 404-415, Autumn.
  13. Kennan, John & Wilson, Robert, 1989. "Strategic Bargaining Models and Interpretation of Strike Data," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 4(S), pages S87-130, Supplemen.
  14. Ausubel, Lawrence M. & Cramton, Peter & Deneckere, Raymond J., 2002. "Bargaining with incomplete information," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, in: R.J. Aumann & S. Hart (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 50, pages 1897-1945 Elsevier.
  15. Alastair Smith & Allan C. Stam, 2004. "Bargaining and the Nature of War," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 48(6), pages 783-813, December.
  16. Heifetz, Aviad & Segev, Ella, 2005. "Escalation and delay in protracted international conflicts," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 17-37, January.
  17. Urs Schweizer, 1989. "Litigation and Settlement under Two-Sided Incomplete Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 163-177.
  18. Jackson, Matthew O. & Morelli, Massimo, . "Political bias and war," Working Papers 1247, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  19. Anat R. Admati & Motty Perry, 1987. "Strategic Delay in Bargaining," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(3), pages 345-364.
  20. Santiago Sanchez-Pages, 2003. "The use of conflict as a bargaining tool against unsophisticated opponents," ESE Discussion Papers 99, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  21. Fearon, James D., 1995. "Rationalist explanations for war," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(03), pages 379-414, June.
  22. Powell, Robert, 1996. "Bargaining in the Shadow of Power," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 255-289, August.
  23. Santiago Sánchez-Pagés, 2009. "Conflict as a Part of the Bargaining Process," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(539), pages 1189-1207, 07.
  24. Wittman, Donald, 1988. "Dispute Resolution, Bargaining, and the Selection of Cases for Trial: A Study of the Generation of Biased and Unbiased Data," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(2), pages 313-52, June.
  25. Gu, Wulong & Kuhn, Peter, 1998. "A Theory of Holdouts in Wage Bargaining," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 428-49, June.
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