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Bargaining and Rationalist Explanations for War
Unformatted Document Text:  19 configured in Figure 2 (see Bueno de Mesquita and Lalman’s 1992, 34, Figure 2). In what they called a “crisis subgame,” the interaction between states 1 and 2 leads to one of five outcomes: (I) negotiation, (II) war initiated by 1, (III) war initiated by 2, (IV) capitulation of 1, and (V) capitulation of 2. All these outcomes are listed at the bottom of the figure. Bueno de Mesquita and Lalman argued that if state 1 is a pacific dove—a state preferring (1) negotiation over the opponent’s capitulation (or ) and (2) capitulation over retaliation if attacked (or )—and state 2 is a hawk—a state preferring to force the opponent to capitulate than negotiation ( ), 13 it is easy to see that the subgame perfect equilibrium (SPE) is a war initiated by the pacific dove (outcome II). Figure 2 Bueno de Mesquita and Lalman’s crisis subgame 14 Despite of their treatment of war (a costly lottery as a game-ending move) and bargaining (one-shot take-it-or-leave-it offers), Bueno de Mesquita and Lalman did bring up a likely scenario in which war can occur with complete information. Unfortunately, this study did not get the attention it deserves. No follow-up efforts were made to define the pacific dove— hawk interaction in a formal model and examine its implications to the rationalist explanations for war. 13 Note that the numbers in the parenthesis in Figure 2 are the arbitrary payoffs of the two states derived from their preferences. 14 .

Authors: Ye, Min.
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19
configured in Figure 2 (see Bueno de Mesquita and Lalman’s 1992, 34, Figure 2). In what they
called a “crisis subgame,” the interaction between states 1 and 2 leads to one of five outcomes:
(I) negotiation, (II) war initiated by 1, (III) war initiated by 2, (IV) capitulation of 1, and (V)
capitulation of 2. All these outcomes are listed at the bottom of the figure. Bueno de Mesquita
and Lalman argued that if state 1 is a pacific dove—a state preferring (1) negotiation over the
opponent’s capitulation (or
) and (2) capitulation over retaliation if attacked (or
)—and state 2 is a hawk—a state preferring to force the opponent to capitulate than
negotiation (
),
13
it is easy to see that the subgame perfect equilibrium (SPE) is a war
initiated by the pacific dove (outcome II).
Figure 2 Bueno de Mesquita and Lalman’s crisis subgame
14
Despite of their treatment of war (a costly lottery as a game-ending move) and
bargaining (one-shot take-it-or-leave-it offers), Bueno de Mesquita and Lalman did bring up a
likely scenario in which war can occur with complete information. Unfortunately, this study did
not get the attention it deserves. No follow-up efforts were made to define the pacific dove—
hawk interaction in a formal model and examine its implications to the rationalist explanations
for war.
13
Note that the numbers in the parenthesis in Figure 2 are the arbitrary payoffs of the two states derived from
their preferences.
14
.


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