Deterrence in Contests

Giacomo De Luca, Petros G. Sekeris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper explores the role of deterrence in contests. As a general rule, we show that for a deterrence strategy to be played by rational agents, it is necessary that the contest be destructive. We show for a very general class of functions that pure strategy deterrence equilibria where contestants deter one another do not exist. A corollary of this finding is that under fairly general conditions, agents should always be expected to engage in contests. Applied to international relations, our results imply that war is always a potential outcome despite deterrence attempts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-189
Number of pages19
Issue number317
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


Dive into the research topics of 'Deterrence in Contests'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this