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The Paradox of Misaligned Profiling: Theory and Experimental Evidence

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

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.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 56508.

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Date of creation: 20 May 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:56508
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  1. Roman M. Sheremeta, 2013. "Overbidding And Heterogeneous Behavior In Contest Experiments," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(3), pages 491-514, 07.
  2. Jacob K. Goeree & Charles A. Holt, 2000. "Ten Little Treasures of Game Theory and Ten Intuitive Contradictions," Virginia Economics Online Papers 333, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  3. 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.
  4. Jacob Goeree & Charles Holt & Thomas Palfrey, 2005. "Regular Quantal Response Equilibrium," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 347-367, December.
  5. Deck, Cary & Sheremeta, Roman, 2012. "Fight or Flight?," MPRA Paper 52130, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Sandler, Todd & Arce, Daniel G., 2007. "Terrorism: A Game-Theoretic Approach," Handbook of Defense Economics, Elsevier.
  7. John Knowles & Nicola Persico & Petra Todd, . "Racial Bias in Motor Vehicle Searches: Theory and Evidence," Penn CARESS Working Papers 5940d5c4875c571776fb29700, Penn Economics Department.
  8. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
  9. Dan Kovenock & Brian Roberson & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2010. "The Attack and Defense of Weakest-Link Networks," Working Papers 10-14, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  10. Vincent P. Crawford & Nagore Iriberri, 2007. "Fatal Attraction: Salience, Naivete, and Sophistication in Experimental Hide-and-Seek Games," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000861, UCLA Department of Economics.
  11. Atin Basuchoudhary & Laura Razzolini, 2006. "Hiding in plain sight – using signals to detect terrorists," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 128(1), pages 245-255, July.
  12. McKelvey Richard D. & Palfrey Thomas R., 1995. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Normal Form Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 6-38, July.
  13. Vincent P. Crawford & Miguel A. Costa-Gomes & Nagore Iriberri, 2013. "Structural Models of Nonequilibrium Strategic Thinking: Theory, Evidence, and Applications," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(1), pages 5-62, March.
  14. Dale O. Stahl & Paul W. Wilson, 2010. "On Players' Models of Other Players: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Levine's Working Paper Archive 542, David K. Levine.
  15. P.-A. Chiappori, 2002. "Testing Mixed-Strategy Equilibria When Players Are Heterogeneous: The Case of Penalty Kicks in Soccer," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1138-1151, September.
  16. Stahl, Dale II & Wilson, Paul W., 1994. "Experimental evidence on players' models of other players," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 309-327, December.
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