Stergios Skaperdas

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Conflict and war are typically viewed as the outcome of mispercep-tions, incomplete information, or even irrationality. We show that it can be otherwise. Despite the short-run incentives to settle disputes peacefully, there can be long-term, compounding rewards to going to war when doing better relative to one's opponent today implies doing better tomorrow.(More)
How do income shocks a¤ect armed con ‡ict? Theory suggests two opposite e¤ects. If labor is used to appropriate resources violently, higher wages may lower con ‡ict by reducing labor supplied to appropriation. This is the opportunity cost e¤ect. Alternatively, a rise in contestable income may increase violence by raising gains from appropriation. This is(More)
The past decade has witnessed an explosion of interest in the scientific study of happiness. Economists, in particular, find that happiness increases in income but decreases in income aspirations, and this work prompts examination of how aspirations form and adapt over time. This paper presents results from the first experimental study of how multiple(More)
In this chapter, we review the recent literature on conflict and appropriation. Allowing for the possibility of conflict, which amounts to recognizing the possibility that property rights are not perfectly and costlessly enforced, represents a significant departure from the traditional paradigm of economics. The research we emphasize, however, takes an(More)
In many economic environments agents make costly and irreversible investments (in``guns'') that may enhance their respective threat payoffs but also shrink the utility possibilities set. In such settings, with variable threats and a variable utility possibilities set, it becomes possible to rank different bargaining solutions in terms of efficiency. We(More)
We examine two factors that help explain the prevalence of con ‡ict in low-income countries: that adversaries cannot enforce long-term contracts in arms, and that open con ‡ict alters the future strategic positions of the adversaries di¤erently than does peace. Using an in-…nite horizon model, we show the conditions under which adversaries will not be able(More)
From marketing and advertising to political campaigning and court proceedings, contending parties expend resources to persuade an audience of the correctness of their view. We examine how the probability of persuading the audience depends on the resources expended by the parties, so that persuasion can be modelled as a contest. We use a Bayesian approach(More)