Article

The Hobbesian Trap

Sandeep Baliga and Tomas Sjöström

in The Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Peace and Conflict

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780195392777
Published online November 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195392777.013.0005

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 The Hobbesian Trap

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What prevents the interested parties from revealing the private information they have to avoid suboptimal outcomes? Due to the conflictual relation between the parties, each has an incentive to lie and deceive the other; this incentive, in turn, calls into question the credibility of communication between the two. This article focuses primarily on the strategic transmission of information. It uses a two-by-two game with strategic complementarities to illustrate how the costless, though imprecise, transmission of information can be used to deceive, or possibly enlighten, and induce either peace or conflict.

Keywords: private information; game theory; war information; strategic transmission; conflictual relation

Article.  9056 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General ; Economic Development and Growth

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