IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Defense against an opportunistic challenger: Theory and experiments

Listed author(s):
  • Deck, Cary
  • Foster, Joshua
  • Song, Hongwei

This paper considers a contest setting in which a challenger chooses between one of two contests to enter after observing the level of defense at each. Despite the challenger’s chance of success being determined by a proportional contest success function, the defenders effectively find themselves in an all-pay auction that largely dissipates the value of the defended resources because the challenger will target the weaker defender. However, if the defenders form a protective alliance then their expected profits increase despite the fact that a successful challenge is theoretically more likely, given the overall reduction in defense. Controlled laboratory experiments designed to test the model’s predictions are also reported. Observed behavior is generally consistent with the comparative static predictions although challengers exhibit the familiar overbidding pattern. Defenders appear to anticipate this reaction and adjust their behavior accordingly.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0377221714008133
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Journal of Operational Research.

Volume (Year): 242 (2015)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 501-513

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:242:y:2015:i:2:p:501-513
DOI: 10.1016/j.ejor.2014.10.009
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eor

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. Ke, Changxia & Konrad, Kai A. & Morath, Florian, 2013. "Brothers in arms – An experiment on the alliance puzzle," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 61-76.
  2. Hausken, Kjell & Bier, Vicki M., 2011. "Defending against multiple different attackers," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 211(2), pages 370-384, June.
  3. Nicolas Treich, 2010. "Risk-aversion and prudence in rent-seeking games," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 145(3), pages 339-349, December.
  4. Lugovskyy, Volodymyr & Puzzello, Daniela & Tucker, Steven, 2010. "An experimental investigation of overdissipation in the all pay auction," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 974-997, November.
  5. Cary Deck & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2012. "Fight or Flight?," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 56(6), pages 1069-1088, December.
  6. Klaus Abbink & Jordi Brandts & Benedikt Herrmann & Henrik Orzen, 2010. "Intergroup Conflict and Intra-group Punishment in an Experimental Contest Game," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 420-447, March.
  7. Hausken, Kjell, 2008. "Strategic defense and attack for series and parallel reliability systems," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 186(2), pages 856-881, April.
  8. Dan Kovenock & Michael R. Baye & Casper G. de Vries, 1996. "The all-pay auction with complete information (*)," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 8(2), pages 291-305.
  9. Garfinkel, Michelle R., 2004. "Stable alliance formation in distributional conflict," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 829-852, November.
  10. Sheremeta, Roman M., 2010. "Experimental comparison of multi-stage and one-stage contests," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 731-747, March.
  11. Joan Esteban, 2003. "Olson VS. Coase: Coalitional Worth in Conflict," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 55(4), pages 339-357, December.
  12. Warneryd, Karl, 1998. "Distributional conflict and jurisdictional organization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 435-450, September.
  13. Konrad, Kai A., 2004. "Bidding in hierarchies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(6), pages 1301-1308, December.
  14. Douglas Davis & Robert Reilly, 1998. "Do too many cooks always spoil the stew? An experimental analysis of rent-seeking and the role of a strategic buyer," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 95(1), pages 89-115, April.
  15. Azaiez, M.N. & Bier, Vicki M., 2007. "Optimal resource allocation for security in reliability systems," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 181(2), pages 773-786, September.
  16. Potters, Jan & de Vries, Casper G. & van Winden, Frans, 1998. "An experimental examination of rational rent-seeking," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 783-800, November.
  17. Stergios Skaperdas, 1996. "Contest success functions (*)," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 7(2), pages 283-290.
  18. Dan Kovenock & Brian Roberson, 2012. "Strategic Defense And Attack For Series And Parallel Reliability Systems: Rejoinder," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(5), pages 521-524, October.
  19. Kyung Baik, 2008. "Contests with group-specific public-good prizes," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 30(1), pages 103-117, January.
  20. Emmanuel Dechenaux & Dan Kovenock & Roman Sheremeta, 2015. "A survey of experimental research on contests, all-pay auctions and tournaments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(4), pages 609-669, December.
  21. Dan Kovenock & Brian Roberson, 2012. "Strategic Defense And Attack For Series And Parallel Reliability Systems: Comment," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(5), pages 507-515, October.
  22. Muller, Holger M & Warneryd, Karl, 2001. "Inside versus Outside Ownership: A Political Theory of the Firm," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(3), pages 527-541, Autumn.
  23. Roman Sheremeta & Jingjing Zhang, 2010. "Can groups solve the problem of over-bidding in contests?," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 35(2), pages 175-197, July.
  24. Edward Millner & Michael Pratt, 1989. "An experimental investigation of efficient rent-seeking," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 62(2), pages 139-151, August.
  25. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  26. Gneezy, Uri & Smorodinsky, Rann, 2006. "All-pay auctions--an experimental study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 255-275, October.
  27. Kunreuther, Howard & Heal, Geoffrey, 2003. "Interdependent Security," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 26(2-3), pages 231-249, March-May.
  28. Enrico Spolaore, 2010. "Federalism, Regional Redistribution and Country Stability," Chapters,in: The Political Economy of Inter-Regional Fiscal Flows, chapter 13 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  29. Levitin, Gregory, 2003. "Optimal allocation of multi-state elements in linear consecutively connected systems with vulnerable nodes," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 150(2), pages 406-419, October.
  30. Noussair, Charles & Silver, Jonathon, 2006. "Behavior in all-pay auctions with incomplete information," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 189-206, April.
  31. Nti, Kofi O., 1998. "Effort and performance in group contests," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 769-781, November.
  32. Lee, Dongryul, 2012. "Weakest-link contests with group-specific public good prizes," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 238-248.
  33. Ryvkin, Dmitry, 2010. "The selection efficiency of tournaments," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 206(3), pages 667-675, November.
  34. Katz, Eliakim & Tokatlidu, Julia, 1996. "Group competition for rents," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 599-607, December.
  35. Konrad, Kai A & Schlesinger, Harris, 1997. "Risk Aversion in Rent-Seeking and Rent-Augmenting Games," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1671-1683, November.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:242:y:2015:i:2:p:501-513. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.