Economics of Conflict
Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
- Chair: Erik Kimbrough, Chapman University
Identity and the Escalation of Conflict: Theory and Experiment
AbstractWe study how group identity affects the escalation of conflict. For this purpose, we introduce a novel identity escalation game and theoretically derive the necessary and sufficient conditions for the escalation and de-escalation of conflict under different strengths of group identity. We test the predictions of our model using a laboratory experiment.
On the Human Consequences of Terrorism
AbstractTerrorist attacks are regarded as low probability, highly consequential, events. What, exactly, are the consequential effects of terrorism? In particular, very little is generally known about the effects of terrorism on the immediate victims across attack categories. This paper provides the first-ever cross sectional depiction of terrorism in terms of the death and injury profiles for nine types of terrorist attacks: six types of bombings (confined-space, open-space, suicide, vehicle-delivered, structural collapse and structural fire), mass shootings, combined shootings and explosions, and vehicular rampages. By constructing a composite injury and death profile for each tactic, attacks can be ranked in terms of the number of disability-adjusted lives lost and disability-adjusted life years lost. In addition, the human consequences for terrorism as a whole (on an annual basis) is placed in context relative to the global burden of disease and counterterror expenditures.
Bridge Burning and Escape Routes
AbstractThomas Schelling (1966) cites bridge burning as a method of commitment. While such a commitment can increase the chances of success in a conflict, it will generally lower one’s payoff if the conflict is lost. I use a standard rent seeking framework and establish conditions under which this type of commitment can raise a player’s expected payoff. A necessary condition is that the scale parameter in the rent-seeking function exceed 1. The comparative static effects of bridge burning are never favorable at an interior equilibrium, but the strategy can induce the opponent to concede the outcome of the contest. I also analyze the strategy, associated with Sun Tzu, of leaving an escape path open for your enemy. This strategy always works at an interior equilibrium. A special case of the model is used to explain why a group subject to a potential transfer might prefer a less efficient tax system to a more efficient system.
- C7 - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
- F5 - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy