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Better feared than loved: reputations and the motives for conflict

Long, Iain W. 2015. Better feared than loved: reputations and the motives for conflict. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 114 , pp. 46-61. 10.1016/j.jebo.2015.03.016

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Throughout history, victory in conflict has created fearsome reputations. Victory thus ensures greater allegiance of the wider population, increasing the victor's rents at the expense of their enemy. Such reputational concerns create two motives for conflict. When only the outcome is informative, the less feared party may attack to show that they are tougher than expected. If the fact that conflict occurred at all also conveys information, the more feared party may attack. If they do not, the population view peace as a sign of weakness and switch loyalties anyway. In this case, conflict arises to save face.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Uncontrolled Keywords: Reputations, conflict, information structures
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0167-2681
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 27 March 2015
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2021 12:31

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