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Main Title: The Paradox of Revenge in Conflicts
Author(s): Amegashie, J. Atsu
Runkel, Marco
Type: Article
Language Code: en
Abstract: The authors consider a two-period game of conflict between two factions, which have a desire for revenge. It is shown that, in contrast to conventional wisdom, the desire for revenge need not lead to escalation of the conflict. The subgame-perfect equilibrium is characterized by two effects: a value of revenge effect (i.e., the benefit of exacting revenge) and a self-deterrence effect (i.e., the fear of an opponent’s desire to exact revenge). The authors construct examples where the equilibrium is such that the self-deterrence effect paradoxically outweighs the value effect and thereby decreases the factions’ aggregate effort below the level exerted in the no-revenge case. This paradox of revenge is more likely, the more elastically the benefit of revenge reacts to the destruction suffered in the past and the more asymmetric is the conflict. The authors discuss the implications of revenge-dependent preferences for welfare economics, evolutionary stability, and their strategic value as commitment devices.
Issue Date: 2012
Date Available: 8-Jan-2019
DDC Class: 320 Politikwissenschaft
Subject(s): conflict
subgame-perfect equilibrium
Journal Title: Journal of Conflict Resolution
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Publisher Place: Washington, DC
Volume: 56
Issue: 2
Publisher DOI: 10.1177/0022002711420971
Page Start: 313
Page End: 330
EISSN: 1552-8766
ISSN: 0022-0027
Notes: Dieser Beitrag ist mit Zustimmung des Rechteinhabers aufgrund einer (DFG geförderten) Allianz- bzw. Nationallizenz frei zugänglich.
This publication is with permission of the rights owner freely accessible due to an Alliance licence and a national licence (funded by the DFG, German Research Foundation) respectively.
Appears in Collections:Inst. Volkswirtschaftslehre und Wirtschaftsrecht (IVWR) » Publications

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