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The Paradox of Misaligned Profiling: Theory and Experimental Evidence

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  • Charles A. Holt

    (University of Virginia)

  • Andrew Kydd

    (University of Wisconsin)

  • Laura Razzolini

    ()
    (Virginia Commonwealth University)

  • Roman Sheremeta

    (Case Western Reserve University and the Economic Science Institute)

Abstract

This paper implements an experimental test of a game-theoretic model of equilibrium profiling. Attackers choose a demographic “type” from which to recruit, and defenders choose which demographic types to search. Some types are more reliable than others in the sense of having a higher probability of carrying out a successful attack if they get past the security checkpoint. In a Nash equilibrium, defenders tend to profile by searching the more reliable attacker types more frequently, whereas the attackers tend to send less reliable types. Data from laboratory experiments with financially motivated human subjects are consistent with the qualitative patterns predicted by theory. However, we also find several interesting behavioral deviations from the theory.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Chapman University, Economic Science Institute in its series Working Papers with number 14-09.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:chu:wpaper:14-09

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Keywords: terrorism; profiling; game theory; laboratory experiment;

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  1. Jacob K Goeree & Charles A Holt, 2004. "Ten Little Treasures of Game Theory and Ten Intuitive Contradictions," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000900, David K. Levine.
  2. Dan Kovenock & Brian Roberson & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2010. "The Attack and Defense of Weakest-Link Networks," Working Papers, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute 10-14, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  3. Dale O. Stahl & Paul W. Wilson, 2010. "On Players' Models of Other Players: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Levine's Working Paper Archive 542, David K. Levine.
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  5. Jacob Goeree & Charles Holt & Thomas Palfrey, 2005. "Regular Quantal Response Equilibrium," Experimental Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 347-367, December.
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  7. McKelvey Richard D. & Palfrey Thomas R., 1995. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Normal Form Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 6-38, July.
  8. Sandler, Todd & Arce, Daniel G., 2007. "Terrorism: A Game-Theoretic Approach," Handbook of Defense Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier.
  9. Atin Basuchoudhary & Laura Razzolini, 2005. "Hiding in Plain Sight – Using Signals to Detect Terrorists," Working Papers, VCU School of Business, Department of Economics 0502, VCU School of Business, Department of Economics.
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  12. John Knowles & Nicola Persico & Petra Todd, . ""Racial Bias in Motor Vehicle Searches: Theory and Evidence''," CARESS Working Papres, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences 99-06, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  13. Kate Antonovics & Brian G. Knight, 2009. "A New Look at Racial Profiling: Evidence from the Boston Police Department," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 163-177, February.
  14. Stahl, Dale II & Wilson, Paul W., 1994. "Experimental evidence on players' models of other players," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 309-327, December.
  15. Vincent P. Crawford & Miguel A. Costa-Gomes & Nagore Iriberri, 2013. "Structural Models of Nonequilibrium Strategic Thinking: Theory, Evidence, and Applications," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(1), pages 5-62, March.
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