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Bargaining and Rationalist Explanations for War
Unformatted Document Text:  32 Figure 5 A revised two-state crisis bargaining game The reexamination of scenario II calls into question the conventional wisdom that there is no war with complete information. Powell is correct to contend that complete information prevents any delay in crisis bargaining. But he is wrong in confusing no delay with no war. The underlying logic is like this: if a general war is inevitable, then fight it now. Table 4 SPE of scenario II in the revised game Scenario State 1 ( ) State 2 ( ) II Propose war Propose Accept Accept any Outcome War with state 1’s expect utility being and state 2’s expected utility being – . Note: i) denotes state 2’s strategy in the case that state 1 deviates from . ii) The SPEs of scenario I, III, and IV are the same as in Table 3. The new situation of scenario II also calls for a reevaluation of the effect of first-move advantage. Based on the new SPE in Table 4, we can reevaluate the effect of first-move advantage, which is illustrated in Figure 6. Now with first-move advantage, a state’s utility is greater than without no matter how the other two dimensions are combined.

Authors: Ye, Min.
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32
Figure 5 A revised two-state crisis bargaining game
The reexamination of scenario II calls into question the conventional wisdom that there is
no war with complete information. Powell is correct to contend that complete information
prevents any delay in crisis bargaining. But he is wrong in confusing no delay with no war. The
underlying logic is like this: if a general war is inevitable, then fight it now.
Table 4 SPE of scenario II in the revised game
Scenario
State 1 (
)
State 2 (
)
II
Propose
war
Propose
Accept
Accept
any
Outcome
War with state 1’s expect utility being
and state 2’s expected
utility being
.
Note: i)
denotes state 2’s strategy in the case that state 1 deviates from
.
ii) The SPEs of scenario I, III, and IV are the same as in Table 3.
The new situation of scenario II also calls for a reevaluation of the effect of first-move
advantage. Based on the new SPE in Table 4, we can reevaluate the effect of first-move
advantage, which is illustrated in Figure 6. Now with first-move advantage, a state’s utility is
greater than without no matter how the other two dimensions are combined.


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