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The Economics of ConflictTheory and Empirical Evidence$
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Karl Wärneryd

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262026895

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262026895.001.0001

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Strategic Aspects of Fighting in Alliances

Strategic Aspects of Fighting in Alliances

(p.1) 1 Strategic Aspects of Fighting in Alliances
The Economics of Conflict

Kai A. Konrad

The MIT Press

This chapter examines the scope for alliance formation in conflict, focusing on aspects and considerations in alliance formation that offset the strategic disadvantages. It considers (1) supermodularity in alliance members’ efforts; (2) budget constraints that are sufficiently tight to remove the strategic problems of free-riding and holdup; (3) the potentially beneficial role of a threat of internal conflict, as an incentive for overcoming the free-riding problem in making contributions to the alliance effort; (4) possible benefits from information transfers among members of an alliance; (5) the role of multiple fronts if alliance members are resource constrained and can mutually support each other by resource transfers; and (6) evolutionary forces that generate in-group favoritism and spiteful behavior toward the out-group.

Keywords:   alliance formation, conflict, military alliance, supermodularity, budget constraints, free-riding, holdup, internal conflict, information transfer

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