Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Farsightedness in Games: Stabilizing Cooperation in International Conflict

Brams, Steven J. and Ismail, Mehmet S. (2019): Farsightedness in Games: Stabilizing Cooperation in International Conflict.

[thumbnail of MPRA_paper_91370.pdf] PDF

Download (360kB)


We show that a cooperative outcome—one that is at least next-best for the players—is not a Nash equilibrium (NE) in 19 of the 57 2 x 2 strict ordinal conflict games (33%), including Prisoners’ Dilemma and Chicken. Auspiciously, in 16 of these games (84%), cooperative outcomes are nonmyopic equilibria (NMEs) when the players make farsighted calculations, based on backward induction; in the other three games, credible threats induce cooperation. More generally, in all finite normal-form games, if players’ preferences are strict, farsighted calculations stabilize at least one Pareto-optimal NME. We illustrate the choice of NMEs that are not NEs by two cases in international relations: (i) no first use of nuclear weapons, chosen by the protagonists in the 1962 Cuban missile crisis and since adopted by some nuclear powers; and (ii) the 2015 agreement between Iran, and a coalition of the United States and other countries, that has been abrogated by the United States but has forestalled Iran’s possible development of nuclear weapons.

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact us: mpra@ub.uni-muenchen.de

This repository has been built using EPrints software.

MPRA is a RePEc service hosted by Logo of the University Library LMU Munich.