Relative Gains Debate


-         Grieco (1988) and other realists argue that NLI ignores relative gains problem

-         NLI focuses on absolute gains, not relative gains (how much more or less does state A gain by cooperating with state B)


Quasi-Formal Terms


-         V equals utility to state V from cooperation

-         W equals utility to state W from cooperation

-         NLI claim that Uv = V

-         NR claims that  Uv = V – k(W-V) where k is a coefficient representing V’s sensitivity to gaps in payoffs, ranging from near 0 to 1



Does Institutionalized Cooperation Minimize Relative Gains Concerns?

-         Grieco argues that NLI does not show this

-         Keohane et al argue that “diffuse” v. “specific” reciprocity captures RG concerns