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Mediation and Peace

Johannes Hörner, Massimo Morelli () and Francesco Squintani ()

No 1765, Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers from Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University

Abstract: This paper brings mechanism design to the study of conflict resolution in international relations. We determine when and how unmediated communication and mediation reduce the ex ante probability of conflict, in a simple game where conflict is due to asymmetric information. Unmediated communication helps reducing the chance of conflict as it allows conflicting parties to reveal their types and establish type-dependent transfers to avoid conflict. Mediation improves upon unmediated communication when the intensity of conflict is high, or when asymmetric information is large. The mediator improves upon unmediated communication by not precisely reporting information to conflicting parties, and precisely, by not revealing to a player with probability one that the opponent is weak. Surprisingly, in our set up, arbitrators who can enforce settlements are no more effective in reducing the probability of conflict than mediators who can only make non-binding recommendations.

Keywords: Mediation; War and peace; Imperfect information; Communication games; Optimal mechanism (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C7 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 51 pages
Date: 2010-08
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-cta and nep-gth
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Citations:

Published in Review of Economic Studies, (October 2015), 82(4): 1483-1501

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Journal Article: Mediation and Peace (2015) Downloads
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Working Paper: Mediation and Peace (2011) Downloads
Working Paper: Mediation and Peace (2011) Downloads
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Working Paper: Mediation and Peace (2010) Downloads
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