Essays in the experimental analysis of conflict

Khan, Humera (2017). Essays in the experimental analysis of conflict. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The thesis consists of three chapters with Chapters 2 and 3 providing experimental evidence on the role of cheap-talk and a third party recommendation in reducing or aggravating conflict.

Chapter 1 surveys the theoretical, empirical and experimental literature on the determinants of conflict.

Chapter 2 considers an experiment based on Baliga and Sjostrom (BS, 2004) to investigate whether communication reduces the probability of an arms race. We find that communication does indeed reduce the possibility of using strategies that lead to an arms race, even when the unique Bayesian Nash equilibrium without communication has both players playing a strategy that leads to an arms race.

Chapter 3 considers a set of experiments based on Baliga and Sjostrom (BS, 2012) to understand if third parties can provoke conflict. We adapt their model to experimentally test if a third party recommendation can trigger conflict. While in some treatments with recommendation, more players do choose an aggressive strategy compared to the treatment without, none of them are statistically significant. We propose a number of explanations for why provocation may not necessarily increase conflict in this environment.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: Birmingham Business School, Department of Economics
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)


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