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Ke, Changxia; Konrad, Kai A.; Morath, Florian (2013): Brothers in arms – An experiment on the alliance puzzle. In: Games and Economic Behavior, Vol. 77, No. 1: pp. 61-76
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The generic alliance game considers players in an alliance who fight against an external enemy. After victory, the alliance may break up, and its members may fight against each other over the spoils of the victory. Our experimental analysis of this game shows: In-group solidarity vanishes after the break-up of the alliance. Former ‘brothers in arms’ fight even more vigorously against each other than strangers do. Furthermore, this vigorous internal fighting is anticipated and reduces the ability of the alliance to mobilize the joint fighting effort, compared to a situation in which victorious alliance members share the spoils of victory equally and peacefully.