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Majoritarian Contests with Asymmetric Battlefields: An Experiment

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  • Montero García, María
  • Possajennikow, Alex
  • Sefton, Martín
  • Turocy, Theodore L.

Abstract

We investigate a version of the classic Colonel Blotto game in which individual battles may have different values. Two players allocate a fixed budget across battlefields and each battlefield is won by the player who allocates the most to that battlefield. The winner of the game is the player who wins the battlefields with highest total value. We focus on the case where there is one large and several small battlefields, such that a player wins if he wins the large and any one small battlefield, or all the small battlefields. We compute the mixed strategy equilibrium for these games and compare this with choices from a laboratory experiment. The equilibrium predicts that the large battlefield receives more than a proportional share of the resources of the players, and that most of the time resources should be spread over more battlefields than are needed to win the game. We find support for the main qualitative features of the equilibrium. In particular, strategies that spread resources widely are played frequently, and the large battlefield receives more than a proportional share in the treatment where the asymmetry between battlefields is stronger.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehu:ikerla:11222
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    File URL: https://addi.ehu.es/handle/10810/11222
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Shakun D. Mago & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2012. "Multi-Battle Contests: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 12-06, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
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    7. 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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    11. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Maria Montero & Alex Possajennikov & Martin Sefton & Theodore Turocy, 2016. "Majoritarian Blotto contests with asymmetric battlefields: an experiment on apex games," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 61(1), pages 55-89, January.
    2. repec:pit:wpaper:509 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Colonel Blotto; majoritarian contests; experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary 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

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