Conflicts with Multiple Battlefields

Dan Kovenock and Brian Roberson

in The Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Peace and Conflict

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780195392777
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Conflicts with Multiple Battlefields

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This article explores the classic problem of “multiple battlefields,” where adversaries allocate resources across different contests, and examines conflicts comprised of component conflicts that are winner-takes-all contests. One of the first games ever formulated, the Colonel Blotto game by Borel in 1921, is an example of such a multi-item contest. Conflicts involving multiple component contests with structural linkages play a prominent role in the history of game theory. In addition to breaking down the analysis according to the nature of the linkages across contests, the article also divides the analysis according to the type of contest success function employed in each battlefield contest.

Keywords: Colonel Blotto game; component conflicts; winner takes all; game theory; contest success function; battlefield contest

Article.  12584 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Microeconomics ; Economic History

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