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The Paradox of Misaligned Profiling: Theory and Experimental Evidence

Author

Listed:
  • Charles A. Holt

    (University of Virginia)

  • Andrew Kydd

    (University of Wisconsin)

  • Laura Razzolini

    () (Virginia Commonwealth University)

  • Roman Sheremeta

    (Case Western Reserve University and the Economic Science Institute)

Abstract

This paper implements an experimental test of a game-theoretic model of equilibrium profiling. Attackers choose a demographic “type” from which to recruit, and defenders choose which demographic types to search. Some types are more reliable than others in the sense of having a higher probability of carrying out a successful attack if they get past the security checkpoint. In a Nash equilibrium, defenders tend to profile by searching the more reliable attacker types more frequently, whereas the attackers tend to send less reliable types. Data from laboratory experiments with financially motivated human subjects are consistent with the qualitative patterns predicted by theory. However, we also find several interesting behavioral deviations from the theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles A. Holt & Andrew Kydd & Laura Razzolini & Roman Sheremeta, 2014. "The Paradox of Misaligned Profiling: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 14-09, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:chu:wpaper:14-09
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    13. Roman M. Sheremeta, 2013. "Overbidding And Heterogeneous Behavior In Contest Experiments," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(3), pages 491-514, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Shakun D. Mago & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2019. "New Hampshire Effect: behavior in sequential and simultaneous multi-battle contests," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 22(2), pages 325-349, June.
    2. 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.
    3. Kimbrough, Erik O. & Laughren, Kevin & Sheremeta, Roman, 2020. "War and conflict in economics: Theories, applications, and recent trends," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 178(C), pages 998-1013.
    4. Shakun D. Mago & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2017. "Multi‐battle Contests: An Experimental Study," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 84(2), pages 407-425, October.
    5. Zeynep B. Irfanoglu & Shakun D. Mago & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2014. "The New Hampshire Effect: Behavior in Sequential and Simultaneous Election Contests," Working Papers 14-15, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    terrorism; profiling; game theory; laboratory experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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