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The Enemy You Can't See: An Investigation of the Disruption of Dark Networks

  • Michael McBride

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)

  • David Hewitt

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Whittier College)

We examine the optimal disruption of dark (covert and illegal) networks. Of central importance is that an interventionist will generally have incomplete information about the dark network's architecture. We derive the optimal disruption strategy in a stylized model of dark network intervention with incomplete information and show how it combines features of two types of disruption considered in the literature: random failure and targeted attacks. In particular, the optimal disruption strategy encourages greater risk as less of the architecture is observed. A laboratory experiment finds that subjects tasked with disrupting a dark network qualitatively mimic the theoretical predictions.

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File URL: http://www.economics.uci.edu/files/docs/workingpapers/2012-13/mcbride-07.pdf
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Paper provided by University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 121307.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:irv:wpaper:121307
Contact details of provider: Postal: Irvine, CA 92697-3125
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Web page: http://www.economics.uci.edu/

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