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Majoritarian Blotto contests with asymmetric battlefields: an experiment on apex games

Listed author(s):
  • Maria Montero

    ()

    (University of Nottingham
    University of the Basque County (FAE I)
    IKERBASQUE, Basque Foundation for Science)

  • Alex Possajennikov

    ()

    (University of Nottingham)

  • Martin Sefton

    ()

    (University of Nottingham)

  • Theodore L. Turocy

    ()

    (University of East Anglia)

Abstract We investigate a version of the classic Colonel Blotto game in which individual battlefields may have different values. Two players allocate a fixed discrete budget across battlefields. Each battlefield is won by the player who allocates the most to that battlefield. The player who wins the battlefields with highest total value receives a constant winner payoff, while the other player receives a constant loser payoff. We focus on apex games, in which there is one large and several small battlefields. A player wins if he wins the large and any one small battlefield, or all the small battlefields. For each of the games we study, we compute an equilibrium and we show that certain properties of equilibrium play are the same in any equilibrium. In particular, the expected share of the budget allocated to the large battlefield exceeds its value relative to the total value of all battlefields, and with a high probability (exceeding 90 % in our treatments) resources are spread over more battlefields than are needed to win the game. In a laboratory experiment, we find that strategies that spread resources widely are played frequently, consistent with equilibrium predictions. In the treatment where the asymmetry between battlefields is strongest, we also find that the large battlefield receives on average more than a proportional share of resources. In a control treatment, all battlefields have the same value and our findings are consistent with previous experimental findings on Colonel Blotto games.

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File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s00199-015-0902-y
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Article provided by Springer & Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET) in its journal Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 61 (2016)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 55-89

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Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:61:y:2016:i:1:d:10.1007_s00199-015-0902-y
DOI: 10.1007/s00199-015-0902-y
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springer.com

Web page: http://saet.uiowa.edu/

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  1. Hortala-Vallve, Rafael & Llorente-Saguer, Aniol, 2010. "A simple mechanism for resolving conflict," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 375-391, November.
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  5. Montero García, María & Possajennikow, Alex & Sefton, Martín & Turocy, Theodore L., 2013. "Majoritarian Contests with Asymmetric Battlefields: An Experiment," IKERLANAK Ikerlanak;2013-76, Universidad del País Vasco - Departamento de Fundamentos del Análisis Económico I.
  6. Wooders, John & Shachat, Jason M., 2001. "On the Irrelevance of Risk Attitudes in Repeated Two-Outcome Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 342-363, February.
  7. Sergiu Hart, 2008. "Discrete Colonel Blotto and General Lotto games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 36(3), pages 441-460, March.
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  14. Caroline D. Thomas, 2009. "N-Dimensional Blotto Game with Asymmetric Battlefield Values," Department of Economics Working Papers 130116, The University of Texas at Austin, Department of Economics, revised Dec 2016.
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