An Experimental Test of a Predator-Prey Model of Conflict

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Grossman and Kim's (1996) predator-prey model predicts as the effectiveness of offense against defense increases, the equilibrium level of appropriation will vary from zero to full to partial predation. We test the prediction using a repeated single-play protocol with eight decision periods. The data show a clear and substantial convergence to subgame perfect outcomes, with most movement occurring in the first several periods. The results suggest that standard game-theoretic principles may be particularly appropriate to the study of conflict.

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