Schelling om trusler

When one threatens to fight if attacked or to cut his price if his competitor does, the threat is no more than a communication of one’s own incentives, designed to impress on the other the automatic consequences of his act. And, incidentally, it it succeeds in deterring, it benefits both parties.

But more than communication is involved when one threatens an act that he would have no incentive to perform but that is designed to deter through its promise of mutual harm. To threaten massive retaliation against small encroachments is of this nature, as is the threat to bump a car that does not yield the right of way or to call a costly strike if the wage is not raised a few cents.

– Thomas Schelling (1980)

When one threatens to fight if attacked or to cut his price if his competitor does, the threat is no more than a communication of one’s own incentives, designed to impress on the other the automatic consequences of his act. And, incidentally, it it succeeds in deterring, it benefits both parties.

But more than communication is involved when one threatens an act that he would have no incentive to perform but that is designed to deter through its promise of mutual harm. To threaten massive retaliation against small encroachments is of this nature, as is the threat to bump a car that does not yield the right of way or to call a costly strike if the wage is not raised a few cents.

– Thomas Schelling (1980)

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