"If the essence of a game of strategy is the dependence of each person's proper choice of action on what he expects the other to do, it may be useful to define a 'strategic move' as follows: A strategic move is one that influences the other person's choice, in a manner favorable to one's self, by affecting the other person's expectations on how one's self will behave. One constrains the partner's choice by constraining one's own behavior."

"[J]ustice may be rationally supplied by selfish individuals because justice is a criterion for selecting among equilibria of a game... Schelling's focal-point effect needs to be understood as one of the great fundamental ideas of social philosophy."

Visitors seeking citations to academic studies that address some of the issues discussed on this website in more detail may wish to refer to the following materials (note that clicking on links to academic publications listed on this site will create new windows displaying pages at external sites):

For a discussion of the extent to which conflict can productively be viewed as a form of bargaining behavior, and on the role that commitment devices and concepts such as focal coordination can play in managing and resolving conflict, see, Schelling, Thomas C. The Strategy of Conflict (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Press, 1960) and Arms and Influence (New Haven. CT: Yale University Press, 1966).

For a discussion of the larger implications of Schelling's work on conflict, commitment and focal coordination, and on the extent to which institutions such as the common law may be viewed as mechanisms for enhancing such coordination, see: Myerson, Roger B. [2004) "Justice, Institutions, and Multiple Equilibria," Chicago Journal of International Law: Vol.5: No.1, Article 9. Available on-line at: http://chicagounbound.uchicago.edu/cjil/vol5/iss1/9, Myerson, Roger B. (2009) "Learning from Schelling's Strategy of Conflict," Journal of Economic Literature, 47(4): 1109-25, available on-line at http://home.uchicago.edu/rmyerson/research/stratofc.pdf.

For a theoretical study relating to the utility of using a commitment device to arrive at settlements of legal claims (noting, inter alia, that a device as described therein "generally leads to... payoffs that are more in line with the underlying merits of the case ..."), see: Gertner, Roger H., and Geoffrey P. Miller (1995). "Settlement Escrows," Journal of Legal Studies, Vol. 24, Issue 1, pp. 87-122 (available on-line at http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/467953).

For an empirical study of the utility of using a commitment device as described by Gertner & Miller to settle legal claims, wherein test subjects that had access to such a device achieved settlements 69% of the time (as opposed to a 49% rate for other test subjects), settled at an earlier stage more than twice as often, and had litigation costs that were 37% lower, see, Babcock, Linda C., and Claudia M. Landeo (2004). "Settlement Escrows, A Study of a Bilateral Bargaining Game," Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. Vol. 53. No. 3. pp. 401-417 (available on-line at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268103000908 ).

For a discussion on the general topic of bargaining mechanism design and on the inherent problems and inefficiencies associated with including features such as “split-the-difference” protocols within such mechanisms, see Myerson, Roger B., and Mark A. Satterthwaite "Efficient Mechanisms for Bilateral Trading," Journal of Economic Theory 29.2 (1983), 265-281, available on-line at http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=

Visitors interested in reading selected passages from academic and historical literature that cast light on the principles underlying the Fair Proposals System may do so by clicking here.