Focality and Asymmetry in Multi-battle Contests

Subhasish M. Chowdhury, Dan Kovenock, David Rojo Arjona, Nathaniel Wilcox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article examines the influence of focality in Colonel Blotto games with a lottery contest success function, where the equilibrium is unique and in pure strategies. We hypothesize that the salience of battlefields affects strategic behaviour (the salient target hypothesis) and present a controlled test of this hypothesis against Nash predictions, checking the robustness of equilibrium play. When the sources of salience come from asymmetries in battlefield values or labels (as in Schelling, 1960), subjects overallocate 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 find support for the Nash prediction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1593–1619
JournalThe Economic journal
Volume131
Issue number636
Early online date28 Nov 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2021

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