Feints

Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Vol. 15, pp. 431-456, Summer 2006

26 Pages Posted: 8 May 2006

See all articles by Kenneth Hendricks

Kenneth Hendricks

University of Texas at Austin - Department of Economics

R. Preston McAfee

California Institute of Technology - Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences; Yahoo! - Yahoo! Research Labs

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Abstract

In both economic and military situations, agents may try to mislead rivals about their true types or plans, whatever they may be. We consider a simple model in which one player attacks and the other player defends. We show that such environments have two types of possible equilibrium behavior, depending upon the signaling technology. If the signal is not very revealing about the attacker's plans, then the attacker always invests more resources in attack than in misdirection. If the technology is revealing, then the attacker does not always feint, but when he feints, he invests more than half of his resources into misdirection. Comparative statics also depend on whether the technology is revealing. In both economic and military situations, agents may try to mislead rivals about their true types or plans, whatever they may be. We consider a simple model in which one player attacks and the other player defends. We show that such environments have two types of possible equilibrium behavior, depending upon the signaling technology. If the signal is not very revealing about the attacker's plans, then the attacker always invests more resources in attack than in misdirection. If the technology is revealing, then the attacker does not always feint, but when he feints, he invests more than half of his resources into misdirection. Comparative statics also depend on whether the technology is revealing.

Suggested Citation

Hendricks, Kenneth and McAfee, Randolph Preston and McAfee, Randolph Preston, Feints. Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Vol. 15, pp. 431-456, Summer 2006, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=899190 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1530-9134.2006.00106.x

Kenneth Hendricks (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Austin - Department of Economics ( email )

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United States
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Randolph Preston McAfee

Yahoo! - Yahoo! Research Labs ( email )

Sunnyvale, CA 94089
United States

California Institute of Technology - Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences ( email )

1200 East California Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91125
United States

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