Laboratory Experiments on Conflict

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This article reviews the recent experimental literature on conflict. Although the literature is recent and small, it has already examined a great variety of topics-from the effects of anarchy to factors that contribute to peace and conflict. Laboratory experiments provide a good first test of theories and are especially valuable when field experiments are difficult to come by, as in the case of peace and conflict. The third section of the article portrays the tradition of experimental studies on anarchy, based on rent-seeking style models. The fourth section deals with the coordination problem in overthrowing an autocratic ruler. The fifth section is the residual category surveying studies that tackle specific aspects of conflict. The sixth section presents two studies which use experiments in a different way to gauge the effect that real conflict has on human behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Peace and Conflict
EditorsMichelle R. Garfinkel, Stergios Skaperdas
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9780199940806
ISBN (Print)9780195392777
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2012


  • Anarchy
  • Conflict literature
  • Human behavior
  • Laboratory experiments
  • Rent-seeking model

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