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The Paradox of Misaligned Profiling: Theory and Experimental Evidence

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  • Holt, Charles
  • Kydd, Andrew
  • Razzolini, Laura
  • Sheremeta, Roman

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 University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 56508.

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Date of creation: 20 May 2014
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:56508

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

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  1. Roman M. Sheremeta, 2013. "Overbidding and Heterogeneous Behavior in Contest Experiments," Working Papers 13-06, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  2. 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.
  3. John Knowles & Nicola Persico & Petra Todd, . "Racial Bias in Motor Vehicle Searches: Theory and Evidence," Penn CARESS Working Papers 5940d5c4875c571776fb29700, Penn Economics Department.
  4. Goeree, Jacob K. & Holt, Charles A. & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2004. "Regular quantal response equilibrium," Working Papers, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences 1203, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  5. Kate L. Antonovics & Brian G. Knight, 2004. "A New Look at Racial Profiling: Evidence from the Boston Police Department," NBER Working Papers 10634, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Sandler, Todd & Arce, Daniel G., 2007. "Terrorism: A Game-Theoretic Approach," Handbook of Defense Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier.
  7. Vincent P. Crawford & Nagore Iriberri, 2007. "Fatal Attraction: Salience, Naïveté, and Sophistication in Experimental "Hide-and-Seek" Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1731-1750, December.
  8. Dan Kovenock J. & Brian Roberson & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2010. "The Attack and Defense of Weakest-Link Networks," CESifo Working Paper Series 3211, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Atin Basuchoudhary & Laura Razzolini, 2005. "Hiding in Plain Sight – Using Signals to Detect Terrorists," Working Papers 0502, VCU School of Business, Department of Economics.
  10. 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.
  11. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  12. P.-A. Chiappori, 2002. "Testing Mixed-Strategy Equilibria When Players Are Heterogeneous: The Case of Penalty Kicks in Soccer," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1138-1151, September.
  13. 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.
  14. McKelvey Richard D. & Palfrey Thomas R., 1995. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Normal Form Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 6-38, July.
  15. Stahl, Dale II & Wilson, Paul W., 1994. "Experimental evidence on players' models of other players," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 309-327, December.
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