An Experimental Investigation of Colonel Blotto Games
36 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2009
Date Written: June 2009
This article examines behavior in the two-player, constant-sum Colonel Blotto game with asymmetric resources in which players maximize the expected number of battlefields won. The experimental results support all major theoretical predictions. In the auction treatment, where winning a battlefield is deterministic, disadvantaged players use a “guerilla warfare” strategy which stochastically allocates zero resources to a subset of battlefields. Advantaged players employ a “stochastic complete coverage” strategy, allocating random, but positive, resource levels across the battlefields. In the lottery treatment, where winning a battlefield is probabilistic, both players divide their resources equally across all battlefields.
Keywords: Colonel Blotto, conflict resolution, contest theory, multi-dimensional resource allocation, rent-seeking, experiments
JEL Classification: C72, C91, D72, D74
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation