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The Paradox of Misaligned Profiling: Theory and Experimental Evidence

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Listed:
  • Holt, Charles
  • Kydd, Andrew
  • Razzolini, Laura
  • Sheremeta, Roman

Abstract

This paper implements an experimental test of a game-theoretic model of equilibrium profiling. Attackers choose a demographic “type” from which to recruit, and defenders choose which demographic types to search. Some types are more reliable than others in the sense of having a higher probability of carrying out a successful attack if they get past the security checkpoint. In a Nash equilibrium, defenders tend to profile by searching the more reliable attacker types more frequently, whereas the attackers tend to send less reliable types. Data from laboratory experiments with financially motivated human subjects are consistent with the qualitative patterns predicted by theory. However, we also find several interesting behavioral deviations from the theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Holt, Charles & Kydd, Andrew & Razzolini, Laura & Sheremeta, Roman, 2014. "The Paradox of Misaligned Profiling: Theory and Experimental Evidence," MPRA Paper 56508, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:56508
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kate Antonovics & Brian G. Knight, 2009. "A New Look at Racial Profiling: Evidence from the Boston Police Department," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 163-177, February.
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    4. Cary Deck & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2012. "Fight or Flight?," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 56(6), pages 1069-1088, December.
    5. John Knowles & Nicola Persico & Petra Todd, 2001. "Racial Bias in Motor Vehicle Searches: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(1), pages 203-232, February.
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    8. Vincent P. Crawford & Nagore Iriberri, 2007. "Fatal Attraction: Salience, Naïveté, and Sophistication in Experimental "Hide-and-Seek" Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1731-1750, December.
    9. Roman M. Sheremeta, 2013. "Overbidding And Heterogeneous Behavior In Contest Experiments," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(3), pages 491-514, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Mago, Shakun & Sheremeta, Roman, 2018. "New Hampshire Effect: Behavior in Sequential and Simultaneous Multi-Battle Contests," MPRA Paper 85337, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Erik O. Kimbrough & Kevin Laughren & Roman Sheremeta, 2017. "War and Conflict in Economics: Theories, Applications, and Recent Trends," Discussion Papers dp17-10, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
    4. Shakun D. Mago & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2012. "Multi-Battle Contests: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 12-06, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    5. Irfanoglu, Zeynep & Mago, Shakun & Sheremeta, Roman, 2015. "New Hampshire Effect: Behavior in Sequential and Simultaneous Election Contests," MPRA Paper 67520, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    terrorism; profiling; game theory; laboratory experiment;

    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
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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