A Theory of War (Bargaining II)

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Department
International Affairs
Course
INR 4083
Professor
Brian Crisher
Semester
Spring

Description
A Theory of War & Peace 02/13/2014 Bargaining Model of War Part II War is costly & because of that we get this range of deals that both sides prefer to war (bargaining range) Bargaining failures arise from: Incomplete Information about resolve or capabilities and an incentive to misrepresent Problems of credible commitment Indivisibilities Not a separate cause, but part of commitment problems “I know something you don’t know…” a.k.a Incomplete Information Uncertainty about model parameters Probability of victory (p) Costs of fighting (i.e. resolve) (a or b) Resolve: willingness to endure costs in order to gain/keep something you desire (often referred to as  cost)  More resolve = war is less costly & vice versa Information Problem: Different Beliefs (On PowerPoint) Information Problem: Mutual Optimism (On PowerPoint) Problem: Incentives to Misrepresent Why not reveal information? (If it gets you better deals, you are not going to give up that information & even  if states do try to signal information through actions, other state might still believe they are lying) Because states possess incentives to misrepresent/bluff: Signaling resolve Risk­return tradeoff (Brinksmanship) You’re risking conflict but there is the potential that you get a better payoff through that risk Brinksmanship: The “Slippery Slope” State’s could signal resolve by approaching the “brink” of war through provocative actions Which is a fancy way of saying that states can, and do, bluff But, what’s the potential problem? ^^ Somebody calls your bluff & you end up in a situation you didn’t want to be in  Costly Signals This language of coercion deals with how to signal resolve Costly Signals: Brinksmanship or risk Tying hands: increasing the costs of “backing down” Must be costly (ex: mobilizing troops and sending them over borders) If actions and statements are not costly, called cheap talk Can’t find the bargaining range if you’re operating with different sets of  information Example 
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