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An experimental investigation of Colonel Blotto games

  • Subhasish Chowdhury
  • Dan Kovenock


  • Roman Sheremeta

This article examines behavior in the two-player, constant-sum Colonel Blotto game with asymmetric resources in which players maximize the expected number of battlefields won. The experimental results support the main qualitative predictions of the theory. In the auction treatment, where winning a battlefield is deterministic, disadvantaged players use a “guerilla warfare” strategy that stochastically allocates zero resources to a subset of battlefields. Advantaged players employ a “stochastic complete coverage” strategy, allocating random, but positive, resource levels across the battlefields. In the lottery treatment, where winning a battlefield is probabilistic, both players divide their resources equally across all battlefields. However, we also find interesting behavioral deviations from the theory and discuss their implications. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2013

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Article provided by Springer & Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET) in its journal Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 52 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 (April)
Pages: 833-861

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Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:52:y:2013:i:3:p:833-861
DOI: 10.1007/s00199-011-0670-2
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