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Choosing What to Protect: Strategic Defensive Allocation against an Unknown Attacker


We study a strategic model in which a defender must allocate defensive resources to a collection of locations and an attacker must choose a location to attack. In equilibrium, the defender sometimes optimally leaves a location undefended and sometimes prefers a higher vulnerability at a particular location even if a lower risk could be achieved at zero cost. The defender prefers to allocate resources in a centralized (rather than decentralized) manner, the optimal allocation of resources can be non-monotonic in the value of the attacker's outside option, and the defender prefers her defensive allocation to be public rather than secret. Copyright 2007 Blackwell Publishing, Inc..

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Article provided by Association for Public Economic Theory in its journal Journal of Public Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 9 (2007)
Issue (Month): 4 (08)
Pages: 563-587

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:9:y:2007:i:4:p:563-587
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  1. Todd Sandler, 2003. "Collective Action and Transnational Terrorism," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(6), pages 779-802, 06.
  2. Kunreuther, Howard & Heal, Geoffrey, 2003. " Interdependent Security," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 26(2-3), pages 231-49, March-May.
  3. Bruno S. Frey & Simon Luechinger, . "Terrorism: Deterrence May Backfire," IEW - Working Papers 136, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  4. Darius Lakdawalla & George Zanjani, 2002. "Insurance, Self-Protection, and the Economics of Terrorism," NBER Working Papers 9215, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Bruno S. Frey & Simon Luechinger, . "How to Fight Terrorism: Alternatives to Deterrence," IEW - Working Papers 137, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  6. Martin Shubik & Robert J. Weber, 1978. "Systems Defense Games: Colonel Blotto, Command and Control," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 489, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  7. Geoffrey Heal & Howard Kunreuther, 2004. "Interdependent Security: A General Model," NBER Working Papers 10706, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Lapan, Harvey E. & Sandler, Todd, 1993. "Terrorism and Signalling," Staff General Research Papers 10808, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  9. Sandler, Todd & Lapan, Harvey E., 1988. "The Calculus of Dissent: An Analysis of Terrorists' Choice of Targets," Staff General Research Papers 10818, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  10. Sandler, Todd & Enders, Walter, 2004. "An economic perspective on transnational terrorism," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 301-316, June.
  11. Arce M., Daniel G. & Sandler, Todd, 2001. "Transnational public goods: strategies and institutions," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 493-516, September.
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