Reciprocity in the shadow of threat.

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3 Citations (Scopus)


This paper considers a partial equilibrium model of conflict where two agents differently evaluate a contested stake. Differently from common contest models, agents have the option of choosing a second instrument to affect the outcome of the conflict. The second instrument is assumed to capture positive investments in conflict management labeled as talks . The focus is on the asymmetry in the evaluation of the stake: whenever the asymmetry in the evaluation of the stake is large there is no room for cooperation and a conflict trap emerges; whenever the degree of asymmetry falls within a critical interval, cooperation seems to emerge only in the presence of a unilateral concession; as the evaluations of the stake converge, only reciprocal concessions can sustain cooperation. Finally the concept of entropy is applied to measure conflict and conflict management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-111
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Review of Economics
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Concession
  • Conflict Management
  • asymmetry in evaluation
  • conflict
  • contest
  • cooperation
  • guns and talks
  • reciprocity
  • statistical entropy


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