The Hobbesian Trap

Sandeep Baliga*, Tomas Sjöström

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


What prevents the interested parties from revealing the private information they have to avoid suboptimal outcomes? Due to the conflictual relation between the parties, each has an incentive to lie and deceive the other; this incentive, in turn, calls into question the credibility of communication between the two. This article focuses primarily on the strategic transmission of information. It uses a two-by-two game with strategic complementarities to illustrate how the costless, though imprecise, transmission of information can be used to deceive, or possibly enlighten, and induce either peace or conflict.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Peace and Conflict
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780199940806, 9780195392777
StatePublished - Apr 20 2012


  • Conflictual relation
  • Game theory
  • Private information
  • Strategic transmission
  • War information

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

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