Conflict Resolution Under Asymmetric Information
We consider Bayesian incentive compatible and individually rational mechanisms for resolving conflicts between two agents who are uncertain about each other's fighting potential. We model the default option of outright conflict as a probabilistic contest. Examples of such contests may be international conflict, litigation, and elections. We show, in particular, that if the loss of surplus from outright conflict is small enough, then any mechanism must assign a positive probability of conflict. This happens even though only a peaceful agreement avoids a loss of resources.
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