Review of Economic Design

, 13:233

Mechanism design goes to war: peaceful outcomes with interdependent and correlated types

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10058-008-0055-6

Cite this article as:
Fey, M. & Ramsay, K.W. Rev Econ Design (2009) 13: 233. doi:10.1007/s10058-008-0055-6


In this paper, we consider the possibility of identifying peaceful mechanisms such as bargaining protocols, international institutions, or norms that can enable countries to settle disputes in the absence of binding contracts. In particular, we are interested in the existence of mechanisms with zero probability of war. Here, we focus on situations where the countries’ payoffs to war are interdependent or correlated and where efficient settlements are not required but subsidies are unavailable. Most importantly, countries can choose to go to war at any time and can use information learned from the negotiation process in making this choice. We characterize the conditions under which no peaceful mechanisms exist and discuss how weakening our war consistency condition can change this result.


Conflict War Private information Mechanism design War consistency 

JEL Classification

D74 D82 C7 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of RochesterRochesterUSA
  2. 2.Department of PoliticsPrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA