Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1319798
 
 

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How Democracy Resolves Conflict in Difficult Games


Steven J. Brams


New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics

D. Marc Kilgour


Wilfrid Laurier University

December 23, 2008

GAMES, GROUPS, AND THE GLOBAL GOOD, Simon Levin, ed., Springer, Forthcoming

Abstract:     
Democracy resolves conflicts in difficult games like Prisoners' Dilemma and Chicken by stabilizing their cooperative outcomes. It does so by transforming these games into games in which voters are presented with a choice between a cooperative outcome and a Pareto-inferior noncooperative outcome. In the transformed game, it is always rational for voters to vote for the cooperative outcome, because cooperation is a weakly dominant strategy independent of the decision rule and the number of voters who choose it. Such games are illustrated by 2-person and n-person public-goods games, in which it is optimal to be a free rider, and a biblical story from the book of Exodus.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 21

Keywords: Democracy, voting, game theory, public goods, cooperation, Bible

JEL Classification: C72, D02, D62, H41

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Date posted: December 24, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Brams, Steven J. and Kilgour, D. Marc, How Democracy Resolves Conflict in Difficult Games (December 23, 2008). GAMES, GROUPS, AND THE GLOBAL GOOD, Simon Levin, ed., Springer, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1319798

Contact Information

Steven J. Brams (Contact Author)
New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics ( email )
Dept. of Politics
19 West 4th St., 2nd Fl.
New York, NY 10012
United States
212-998-8510 (Phone)
212-995-4184 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://politics.as.nyu.edu/object/stevenbrams.html
D. Marc Kilgour
Wilfrid Laurier University ( email )
75 University Avenue West
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3C5
Canada
519-884-0710 Ext.4208 (Phone)
519-884-5057 (Fax)
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