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Doubts and Dogmatism in Conflict Behavior

  • Sidartha Gordon

    (Département d'économie)

  • Alessandro Riboni

    (Department of Economics, Ecole Polytechnique)

Conflicts are likely less violent if individuals entertain the possibility that the opponent may be right. Why is it so difficult to observe this attitude? In this paper, we consider a game of conflict where two opponents fight in order to impose their preferred policy. Before entering the conflict, one opponent (the agent) trusts the information received by his principal. The principal wants to a↵ect the agent’s e↵ort, but he also cares that the agent selects the correct policy and that he has the right incentives to acquire information.We find conditions under which the principal induces hawkish attitudes in the agent. As a result, the agent has no doubts about the optimality of his preferred policy, conflicts are violent and bad decisions are sometimes made. Under some other conditions, the agent adopts dovish attitudes of systematic doubt and conflicts are less violent.

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Paper provided by Sciences Po in its series Sciences Po publications with number 2014-08.

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Date of creation: Apr 2014
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Handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/1pol0t9ish8aibtfnljt1dn7he
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