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Stochastic Asymmetric Blotto Games: Theory and Experimental Evidence

  • John Duffy
  • Alexander Matros

We study a 2-player Blotto game where the n items have asymmetric values. The winner of each item is determined stochastically using a lottery mechanism. We analyze two payoff objectives: (i) players maximize their total expected payoffs and (ii) players maximize their probability of winning a majority value of all items. We develop new theoretical results for the majority rule case and show how that payoff objective results in qualitatively different equilibrium behavior than the total expected payoff objective. We report results from an experiment where the two payoff objectives are compared and find strong support for our theoretical predictions.

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Paper provided by University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 509.

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Date of creation: Aug 2013
Date of revision: Nov 2013
Handle: RePEc:pit:wpaper:509
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  1. Ayala Arad & Ariel Rubinstein, 2012. "Multi-Dimensional Iterative Reasoning in Action: The Case of the Colonel Blotto Game," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000497, David K. Levine.
  2. Sergiu Hart, 2008. "Discrete Colonel Blotto and General Lotto games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 441-460, March.
  3. George E. Monahan, 1987. "The Structure of Equilibria in Market Share Attraction Models," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 33(2), pages 228-243, February.
  4. Dan Kovenock & Brian Roberson, 2007. "Coalitional Colonel Blotto Games with Application to the Economics of Alliances," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1207, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  5. Brian Roberson & Dmitriy Kvasov, 2008. "The Non-Constant-Sum Colonel Blotto Game," CESifo Working Paper Series 2378, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Laslier, Jean-Francois & Picard, Nathalie, 2002. "Distributive Politics and Electoral Competition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 106-130, March.
  7. Snyder, James M, 1989. "Election Goals and the Allocation of Campaign Resources," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 637-60, May.
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  9. Kvasov, Dmitriy, 2007. "Contests with limited resources," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 136(1), pages 738-748, September.
  10. Subhasish Chowdhury & Dan Kovenock & Roman Sheremeta, 2013. "An experimental investigation of Colonel Blotto games," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 833-861, April.
  11. Hortala-Vallve, Rafael & Llorente-Saguer, Aniol, 2010. "A simple mechanism for resolving conflict," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 375-391, November.
  12. Adamo, Tim & Matros, Alexander, 2009. "A Blotto game with Incomplete Information," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 100-102, October.
  13. Powell, Robert, 2009. "Sequential, nonzero-sum "Blotto": Allocating defensive resources prior to attack," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 611-615, November.
  14. Rafael Hortala-Vallve & Aniol Llorente-Saguer, 2012. "Pure strategy Nash equilibria in non-zero sum colonel Blotto games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 331-343, May.
  15. Alex Robson, 2005. "Multi-Item Contests," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2005-446, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
  16. Maria Montero & Alex Possajennikov & Martin Sefton & Theodore Turocy, 2013. "Majoritarian Contests with Asymmetric Battlefields: An Experiment," Discussion Papers 2013-12, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  17. Klumpp, Tilman & Polborn, Mattias K., 2006. "Primaries and the New Hampshire Effect," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(6-7), pages 1073-1114, August.
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