Kenneth Hendricks and R. Preston McAfee

In both economic and military situations, agents may try to mislead rivals about their true types or plans, whatever they may be. We consider a simple model in which one player attacks and the other player defends. We show that such environments have two types of possible equilibrium behavior, depending upon the signaling technology. If the signal is not very revealing about the attacker’s plans, then the attacker always invests more resources in attack than in misdirection. If the technology is revealing, then the attacker does not always feint, but when he feints, he invests more than half of his resources into misdirection. Comparative statics also depend on whether the technology is revealing.