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On the Formation of Alliances in Conflict and Contests

Stergios Skaperdas
Public Choice
Vol. 96, No. 1/2 (Jul., 1998), pp. 25-42
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30024376
Page Count: 18
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On the Formation of Alliances in Conflict and Contests
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Abstract

This paper examines the problem of the formation of alliances in conflict and, more generally, in contests with three players. Each player possesses an exogenous strategic endowment (e.g., arms, efforts, rent-seeking activity). The outcome of contests, including those between any alliances of players, is governed by a Contest Success Function (CSF). In the three-person/one-cake problem an alliance between two players against the third one will form if and only if the CSF has an increasing returns characteristic. When an alliance forms, there is a tendency to be formed by the weaker players against the strongest player. Similar tendencies exist in other three-person problems that I examine.

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