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When parity promotes peace: Resolving conflict between asymmetric agents

Erik Kimbrough, Roman Sheremeta () and Timothy Shields

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2014, vol. 99, issue C, 96-108

Abstract: Due to the high costs of conflict both in theory and practice, we examine and experimentally test the conditions under which conflict between asymmetric agents can be resolved. We model conflict as a two-agent rent-seeking contest for an indivisible prize. Before conflict arises, both agents may agree to allocate the prize by fair coin flip to avoid the costs of conflict. The model predicts that “parity promotes peace”: in the pure-strategy equilibrium, agents with relatively symmetric conflict capabilities agree to resolve the conflict by using a random device; however, with sufficiently asymmetric capabilities, conflicts are unavoidable because the stronger agent prefers to fight. The results of the experiment confirm that the availability of the random device partially eliminates conflicts when agents are relatively symmetric; however, the device also reduces conflict between substantially asymmetric agents.

Keywords: Contest; Asymmetries; Conflict resolution; Experiments (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C72 C91 D72 D74 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (85)

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Working Paper: When Parity Promotes Peace: Resolving Conflict Between Asymmetric Agents (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: When Parity Promotes Peace: Resolving Conflict Between Asymmetric Agents (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: When Parity Promotes Peace: Resolving Conflict Between Asymmetric Agents (2013) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:99:y:2014:i:c:p:96-108

DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2013.12.021

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Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.

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