Choosing what to protect: Strategic defensive allocation against an unknown attacker

Vicki Bier*, Santiago Oliveros, Larry Samuelson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

251 Citations (Scopus)


We study a strategic model in which a defender must allocate defensive resources to a collection of locations and an attacker must choose a location to attack. In equilibrium, the defender sometimes optimally leaves a location undefended and sometimes prefers a higher vulnerability at a particular location even if a lower risk could be achieved at zero cost. The defender prefers to allocate resources in a centralized (rather than decentralized) manner, the optimal allocation of resources can be non-monotonic in the value of the attacker's outside option, and the defender prefers her defensive allocation to be public rather than secret.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)563-587
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Public Economic Theory
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2007

Structured keywords

  • ECON Microeconomic Theory
  • Political Economy
  • Defense Economics


Dive into the research topics of 'Choosing what to protect: Strategic defensive allocation against an unknown attacker'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this