Credible Pre-War Communication


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Working Papers
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I study a model of pre-war bargaining where a country can choose to reveal information about its strengths. Unlike Fearon (1995), I assume that verifiable messages can be sent, which rules out communication breakdowns resulting from lack of credibility when the players simply want to project strength. However, the sender may still be unable to prevent war by revealing her strengths if revealing too much information allows the receiver to defend himself in a way that neutralizes the sender's advantage. I then provide conditions under which the sender can reveal just enough information to convince the receiver to surrender, but not so much that the receiver can use the information.