The Fragility of Deterrence in Conflicts

16 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2012

See all articles by Philipp Denter

Philipp Denter

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Dana Sisak

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Economics; Tinbergen Institute

Date Written: December 5, 2012

Abstract

We study deterrence in sequential move conflicts, modeled as a contest. We bias the model in favor of peace by assuming that under complete information deterrence is achieved and peace prevails. We show that under incomplete information about states' types (resolve) the chances of deterrence decrease rapidly. Studying a uniform type distribution, we show that the finer the type space becomes the more resolve a defending state must have to support deterrence in equilibrium. In the limit, as types occur on a continuum, deterrence is possible only under relatively extreme conditions.

Keywords: contests, conflict, possibility of deterrence, incomplete information

JEL Classification: D01, D74, P48

Suggested Citation

Denter, Philipp and Sisak, Dana, The Fragility of Deterrence in Conflicts (December 5, 2012). U. of St. Gallen Law & Economics Working Paper No. 2013-16. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2185334 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2185334

Philipp Denter (Contact Author)

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid ( email )

CL. de Madrid 126
Madrid, Madrid 28903
Spain

Dana Sisak

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

Tinbergen Institute ( email )

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands

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