Third-Party Manipulation of Conflict: An Experiment
40 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2016 Last revised: 22 Mar 2017
Date Written: March 21, 2017
We design a laboratory experiment in which an interested third party endowed with private information sends a public message to two conflicting players, who then make their choices. We find that third-party communication is not strategic. Nevertheless, a hawkish message by a third party makes hawkish behavior more likely while a dovish message makes it less likely. Moreover, how subjects respond to the message is largely unaffected by the third party's incentives. We argue that our results are consistent with a focal point interpretation in the spirit of Schelling.
Keywords: Third-party communication, experiment, conflict game
JEL Classification: C72, C92, D82
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation