Policy Bargaining and International Conflict

ideology

With Peter Bils

Abstract: Studies of bargaining and war generally focus on two sources of incomplete information: uncertainty over the probability of victory and uncertainty over the costs of fighting. We introduce uncertainty over preferences of a spatial policy and argue for its relevance in international negotiations. Under these conditions, standard results from the bargaining model of war break down: peace can be Pareto inefficient and it may be impossible to avoid war. We then extend the model to allow for cheap talk pre-play communications. Whereas incentives to misrepresent normally render cheap talk irrelevant, here communication can cause peace and ensure that agreements are efficient. Moreover, peace can become more likely as (1) the proposer’s belief about its opponent becomes less precise and (2) the costs of war decrease. Our results indicate one major purpose of diplomacy is simply to communicate preferences and that such communications can be credible.

Invited to revise and resubmit to Journal of Theoretical Politics
Click here to download

2 responses to “Policy Bargaining and International Conflict

  1. Pingback: Welcome! | William Spaniel

  2. Pingback: Why Appoint Someone More Extreme than You? | William Spaniel

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s