Focality and Asymmetry in Multi-Battle Contests

Chapman University, Economic Science Institute, Working Paper #16-16

33 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2016

See all articles by Subhasish M. Chowdhury

Subhasish M. Chowdhury

University of Bath - Department of Economics

Dan Kovenock

Chapman University - Economic Science Institute; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

David Rojo Arjona

University of Leicester - Department of Economics

Nathaniel Wilcox

Chapman University - The George L. Argyros School of Business & Economics

Date Written: August 16, 2016

Abstract

This article examines behavior in two-person constant-sum Colonel Blotto games in which each player maximizes the expected total value of the battlefields won. A lottery contest success function is employed in each battlefield. Recent experimental research on such games provides only partial support for Nash equilibrium behavior. We hypothesize that the salience of battlefields affects strategic behavior (the salient target hypothesis). We present a controlled test of this hypothesis – against Nash predictions – when the sources of salience come from certain asymmetries in either battlefield values or labels (as in Schelling 1960). In both cases, subjects over-allocate the resource to the salient battlefields relative to the Nash prediction. However, the effect is stronger with salient values. In the absence of salience, we replicate previous results in the literature supporting the Nash prediction.

Keywords: Conflict, Experiment, Colonel Blotto, Focal point, Asymmetry

JEL Classification: C72, C91, D72, D74

Suggested Citation

Chowdhury, Subhasish M. and Kovenock, Daniel and Rojo Arjona, David and Wilcox, Nathaniel, Focality and Asymmetry in Multi-Battle Contests (August 16, 2016). Chapman University, Economic Science Institute, Working Paper #16-16, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2826720 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2826720

Subhasish M. Chowdhury

University of Bath - Department of Economics ( email )

Claverton Down
Bath, BA2 7AY
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/subhasishmc/

Daniel Kovenock (Contact Author)

Chapman University - Economic Science Institute ( email )

One University Dr.
Orange, CA 92866
United States

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.CESifo.de

David Rojo Arjona

University of Leicester - Department of Economics ( email )

Department of Economics
Leicester LE1 7RH, Leicestershire LE1 7RH
United Kingdom

Nathaniel Wilcox

Chapman University - The George L. Argyros School of Business & Economics ( email )

One University Dr.
Orange, CA 92866
United States

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