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An Experimental Test of a Predator-Prey Model of Conflict


  • Charles Anderton

    () (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross)

  • John Carter

    () (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross)


Grossman and Kim's (1996) predator-prey model predicts as the effectiveness of offense against defense increases, the equilibrium level of appropriation will vary from zero to full to partial predation. We test the prediction using a repeated single-play protocol with eight decision periods. The data show a clear and substantial convergence to subgame perfect outcomes, with most movement occurring in the first several periods. The results suggest that standard game-theoretic principles may be particularly appropriate to the study of conflict.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles Anderton & John Carter, 1997. "An Experimental Test of a Predator-Prey Model of Conflict," Working Papers 9603, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hcx:wpaper:9603

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    More about this item


    appropriation; property rights; Predator-Prey game; conflict;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions


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