War as bargaining failure

Materials for class on Tuesday, September 10, 2019



Slides this week was just the simulation!

In-Class Simulation

We are going to simulate the bargaining model of war in class.


  1. Break up into groups of 3 (Record Keeper, State, Rebels)
    • Record Keeper needs to be laptop user
    • Record Keeper go to this Google Sheet
    • Record Keeper download Excel Sheet or open your own copy
  2. Shuffle cards
  3. Deal three cards face down to State, Rebels


  1. State and Rebels ante up 1 “coin” in pot
  2. Rebel decides whether to challenge State for pot
  3. State decides whether to resist challenge
  4. If resist, war breaks out:
    • flip cards over
    • highest card total (summed face value) wins the war
  5. IMPORTANT: if war takes place each player loses 1 coin (war costs)
  6. Reshuffle cards, repeat 5 times
  7. Reveal one additional card, run through (1-6 again)

Record Keeper

  1. Record gov_name and rebel_name: first name, underscore, last name letter (all lower-case, eg: juan_t)
  2. Record how many coins rebel and state won in 5 rounds (gov_score and rebel_score)
  3. Record how many coins destroyed through war (war_costs)
  4. Record how many cards were dealt per player (cards_face_down)
  5. Record the round_type (look at screen)
  6. Copy-paste your data into the Shared Google Sheet