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Focality and Asymmetry in Multi-battle Contests

Author

Listed:
  • Subhasish M. Chowdhury

    (School of Economics, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science, and Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia)

  • Dan Kovenock

    () (Economic Science Institute, Chapman University)

  • David Rojo Arjona

    (Department of Economics, University of Leicester)

  • Nathaniel T. Wilcox

    (Economic Science Institute, Chapman University)

Abstract

This article examines behavior in two-person constant-sum Colonel Blotto games in which each player maximizes the expected total value of the battlefields won. A lottery contest success function is employed in each battlefield. Recent experimental research on such games provides only partial support for Nash equilibrium behavior. We hypothesize that the salience of battlefields affects strategic behavior (the salient target hypothesis). We present a controlled test of this hypothesis – against Nash predictions – when the sources of salience come from certain asymmetries in either battlefield values or labels (as in Schelling (1960)). In both cases, subjects over-allocate the resource to the salient battlefields relative to the Nash prediction. However, the effect is stronger with salient values. In the absence of salience, we replicate previous results in the literature supporting the Nash prediction.

Suggested Citation

  • Subhasish M. Chowdhury & Dan Kovenock & David Rojo Arjona & Nathaniel T. Wilcox, 2016. "Focality and Asymmetry in Multi-battle Contests," Working Papers 16-16, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:chu:wpaper:16-16
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Cited by:

    1. Dan Kovenock & Brian Roberson & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2010. "The Attack and Defense of Weakest-Link Networks," Working Papers 10-14, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Conflict; Experiment; Colonel Blotto; Focal point; Asymmetry;

    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
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions

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