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The enemy you can’t see: An investigation of the disruption of dark networks

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  • McBride, Michael
  • Hewitt, David

Abstract

We examine the optimal disruption of dark (covert and illegal) networks. Of central importance is that an interventionist will generally have incomplete information about the dark network's architecture. We derive the optimal disruption strategy in a stylized model of dark network intervention with incomplete information and show how it combines features of two types of disruption considered in the literature: random failure and targeted attacks. In particular, the optimal disruption strategy encourages greater risk as less of the architecture is observed. A laboratory experiment finds that subjects tasked with disrupting a dark network qualitatively mimic the theoretical predictions.

Suggested Citation

  • McBride, Michael & Hewitt, David, 2013. "The enemy you can’t see: An investigation of the disruption of dark networks," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 32-50.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:93:y:2013:i:c:p:32-50
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2013.07.004
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    Cited by:

    1. Kvasov, Dmitriy, 2015. "From Sabotage Games to Border Protection," CEI Working Paper Series 2015-2, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    2. Subhasish M. Chowdhury & Dan Kovenock & David Rojo Arjona & Nathaniel T. Wilcox, 2016. "Focality and asymmetry in multi-battle contests," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 16-12, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    3. Bravard, Christophe & Charroin, Liza & Touati, Corinne, 2017. "Optimal design and defense of networks under link attacks," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 62-79.
    4. Christophe Bravard & Liza Charroin & Corinne Touati, 2017. "Optimal Design and Defense of Networks Under Link Attacks," Post-Print hal-01384998, HAL.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Terrorism; Crime; Intervention; Defense;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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