This paper considers evolutionarily stable decisions about whether to initiate violent conflict rather than accepting a peaceful sharing outcome. Focusing on small sets of players such as countries in a geographically confined area, we use Schaffer's (1988) concept of evolutionary stability. We find that players 'evolutionarily stable preferences widen the range of peaceful resource allocations that are rejected in favor of violent conflict, compared to the Nash equilibrium outcomes. Relative advantages in fighting strength are reflected in the equilibrium set of peaceful resource allocations.
Conflict Contest Endogenous fighting Balance of power Evolutionary stability