The strategic allocation of resources across multiple fronts has long been studied in the context of Blotto games in which two players simultaneously select their allocations. However many allocation problems are sequential. For example, a state trying to defend against a terrorist attack generally allocates some or all of its resources before the attacker decides where to strike. This paper studies the allocation problem confronting a defender who must decide how to distribute limited resources across multiple sites before an attacker chooses where to strike. Unlike many Blotto games which only have very complicated mixed-strategy equilibria, the sequential, nonzero-sum “Blotto” game always has a very simple pure-strategy subgame perfect equilibrium. Further, the defender always plays the same pure strategy in any equilibrium, and the attacker's equilibrium response is generically unique and entails no mixing. The defender minmaxes the attacker in equilibrium even though the game is nonzero-sum, and the attacker strikes the site among its best replies that minimizes the defender's expected losses.
Games and Economic Behavior – Elsevier
Published: Nov 1, 2009
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