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The Strategy of Manipulating Conflict

Author

Listed:
  • Sandeep Baliga

    () (Northwestern)

  • Tomas Sjostrom

    () (Rutgers)

Abstract

Two decision-makers choose hawkish or dovish actions in a conflict game with incomplete information. The decision-making can be manipulated by "extremists" who send publicly observed cheap-talk messages. The power of extremists depends on the nature of the underlying conflict game. If actions are strategic complements, a "hawkish extremist" can increase the likelihood of conflict by sending messages which trigger a "fear-spiral" of hawkish actions. This reduces the welfare of both decision-makers. If actions are strategic substitutes, a "dovish extremist" (pacifist) can send messages which cause one decision-maker to back down and become more dovish. This reduces his welfare but benefits the other decision-maker. The hawkish extremist is unable to manipulate the decision-makers if actions are strategic substitutes, and the pacifist is equally powerless if actions are strategic complements.

Suggested Citation

  • Sandeep Baliga & Tomas Sjostrom, 2009. "The Strategy of Manipulating Conflict," Departmental Working Papers 200906, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:rut:rutres:200906
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    File URL: http://www.sas.rutgers.edu/virtual/snde/wp/2009-06.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Golosov, Mikhail & Skreta, Vasiliki & Tsyvinski, Aleh & Wilson, Andrea, 2014. "Dynamic strategic information transmission," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 151(C), pages 304-341.
    2. Efraim Benmelech & Claude Berrebi & Esteban Klor, 2010. "Counter-Suicide-Terrorism: Evidence from House Demolitions," NBER Working Papers 16493, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Denter, Philipp & Sisak, Dana, 2015. "Do polls create momentum in political competition?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 1-14.
    4. Matthew O. Jackson & Massimo Morelli, 2011. "The Reasons for Wars: An Updated Survey," Chapters,in: The Handbook on the Political Economy of War, chapter 3 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Andrew J. Monaco & Tarun Sabarwal, 2016. "Games with strategic complements and substitutes," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 62(1), pages 65-91, June.
    6. Erik O. Kimbrough & Kevin Laughren & Roman Sheremeta, 2017. "War and Conflict in Economics: Theories, Applications, and Recent Trends," Discussion Papers dp17-10, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
    7. repec:kap:expeco:v:21:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10683-017-9523-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Ganguly, Chirantan & Ray, Indrajit, 2015. "Information-Revelation and Coordination Using Cheap Talk in a Game with Two-Sided Private Information," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2015/7, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    global strategy;

    JEL classification:

    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory

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