The Iraq War as a Bayesian Game: The Government, the Media, and the Electorate Open Access

Kim, Jung Hwan (2013)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/gx41mj53b?locale=en
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Abstract

The process of the invasion of Iraq in 2003 is a good example of the complicated interactions and relationship between the government, the media, and the electorate. In an effort to shed light on better understanding of these factors, this paper constructs a stylized model to examine the effect of the electorate's vigilant or lax attitude towards the government's proposal to pursue war, and of the media's sensational or serious coverage of Iraq and possible weapons of mass destruction upon the government's decision making. The paper constructs a basic model of a dynamic Bayesian game with two players, the government and the electorate; an extension of this model includes the media as a third player. In the basic model, I find that the equilibrium strategy for the government depends on the degree of the electorate's vigilance. When weapons of mass destruction do not exist, the government has a higher expected utility by proposing peace than proposing war when the electorate is more vigilant. In the extended model, I find that in the presence of sensational media coverage, the government has a higher expected utility from proposing peace when the weapons do not exist only if the electorate is more vigilant than in the basic model.


Table of Contents

Table of Contents

I. Introduction..................................................................1

II. Literature....................................................................3

III. Theoretical models and Results.......................................5

Model 1: A Bayesian Game with Two Players..........................5

Model 2: A Bayesian Game with Three Players......................10

IV. Conclusion and Extensions...........................................16

V. Reference..................................................................19

VI. Appendix..................................................................21

Appendix 1: The Basic Model with Two Players.....................21

Appendix 2: The Extended Model with Three Players..............22

Appendix 3: Explanation of the Utility Payoffs.......................23

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