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An experimental investigation of Colonel Blotto games

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  • Subhasish Chowdhury
  • Dan Kovenock

    ()

  • Roman Sheremeta

Abstract

This article examines behavior in the two-player, constant-sum Colonel Blotto game with asymmetric resources in which players maximize the expected number of battlefields won. The experimental results support the main qualitative predictions of the theory. In the auction treatment, where winning a battlefield is deterministic, disadvantaged players use a “guerilla warfare” strategy that stochastically allocates zero resources to a subset of battlefields. Advantaged players employ a “stochastic complete coverage” strategy, allocating random, but positive, resource levels across the battlefields. In the lottery treatment, where winning a battlefield is probabilistic, both players divide their resources equally across all battlefields. However, we also find interesting behavioral deviations from the theory and discuss their implications. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2013

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00199-011-0670-2
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 52 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 (April)
Pages: 833-861

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Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:52:y:2013:i:3:p:833-861

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Related research

Keywords: Colonel Blotto; Conflict resolution; Contest theory; Multi-dimensional resource allocation; Rent-seeking; Experiments; C72; C91; D72; D74;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Deck, Cary & Sheremeta, Roman, 2012. "Fight or Flight?," MPRA Paper 52130, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Dan Kovenock & Brian Roberson & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2010. "The Attack and Defense of Weakest-Link Networks," Working Papers 10-14, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  3. Stefan Homburg, 2011. "Colonel Blotto und seine ökonomischen Anwendungen," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 12(1), pages 1-11, 02.
  4. Michael McBride & David Hewitt, 2012. "The Enemy You Can't See: An Investigation of the Disruption of Dark Networks," Working Papers 121307, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  5. Brian Roberson & Dmitriy Kvasov, 2008. "The Non-Constant-Sum Colonel Blotto Game," CESifo Working Paper Series 2378, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Sheremeta, Roman, 2013. "Overbidding and Heterogeneous Behavior in Contest Experiments," MPRA Paper 44124, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Arad, Ayala & Rubinstein, Ariel, 2012. "Multi-dimensional iterative reasoning in action: The case of the Colonel Blotto game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 571-585.
  8. Michael Funke & Marc Gronwald, 2009. "A Convex Hull Approach to Counterfactual Analysis of Trade Openness and Growth," Quantitative Macroeconomics Working Papers 20906, Hamburg University, Department of Economics.
  9. John Duffy & Alexander Matros, 2013. "Stochastic Asymmetric Blotto Games: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 509, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2013.
  10. Godinho, Pedro & Dias, Joana, 2013. "Two-player simultaneous location game: Preferential rights and overbidding," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 229(3), pages 663-672.
  11. Maria Montero & Alex Possajennikov & Martin Sefton & Theodore Turocy, 2013. "Majoritarian Contests with Asymmetric Battlefields: An Experiment," Discussion Papers 2013-12, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  12. Sudipta Sarangi & Dan Kovenock & Matt Wiser, . "All-Pay Hex: A Multibattle Contest With Complementarities," Departmental Working Papers 2012-06, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
  13. Shakun D. Mago & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2012. "Multi-Battle Contests: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 12-06, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  14. Denter, Philipp, 2013. "A theory of communication in political campaigns," Economics Working Paper Series 1302, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.

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