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Brothers in Arms – An Experiment on the Alliance Puzzle

MPS-Authors
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Ke,  Changxia
Public Economics, MPI for Intellectual Property, Competition and Tax Law, Max Planck Society;

Konrad ,  Kai A.
Public Economics, MPI for Intellectual Property, Competition and Tax Law, Max Planck Society;

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Morath,  Florian
Public Economics, MPI for Intellectual Property, Competition and Tax Law, Max Planck Society;

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ii10-18.pdf
(Preprint), 276KB

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Citation

Ke, C., Konrad, K. A., & Morath, F. (2010). Brothers in Arms – An Experiment on the Alliance Puzzle. WZB Discussion Paper, SP II, No. 2010-18.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0011-4DEF-2
Abstract
Our experimental analysis of alliances in conflicts leads to three main findings. First, even in the absence of repeated interaction, direct contact or communication, free-riding among alliance members is far less pronounced than what would be expected from non-cooperative theory. Second, this possible solidarity among `brothers in arms' when fighting against an outside enemy may rapidly deteriorate or disappear as soon as the outside enemy disappears. Third, when fighting an outside enemy, `brothers in arms' may already anticipate future internal conflict about dividing the spoils of winning; however, this subsequent internal conflict does not discourage alliance members from expending much effort in the contest against the external enemy.