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The Generalized War of Attrition

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  • Jeremy I. Bulow

    (Yale University & Stanford Business School)

  • Paul Klemperer

    (Nuffield College, Oxford University)

Abstract

We generalize the War of Attrition model to allow for N + K firms competing for N prizes. Two special cases are of particular interest. First, if firms continue to pay their full costs after dropping out (as in a standard-setting context), each firm's exit time is independent both of K and of the actions of other players. Second, in the limit in which firms pay no costs after dropping out (as in a natural-oligopoly problem), the field is immediately reduced to N + 1 firms. Furthermore, we have perfect sorting, so it is always the K - 1 lowest-value players who drop out in zero time, even though each player's value is private information to the player. We apply our model to politics, explaining the length of time it takes to collect a winning coalition to pass a bill.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 1142.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Dec 1996
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1142

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Postal: Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA
Phone: (203) 432-3702
Fax: (203) 432-6167
Web page: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/
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Postal: Cowles Foundation, Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA

Related research

Keywords: War of attrition; auctions; standards; natural monopoly; oligopoly; "twoness; " strategic independence; " political decision making;

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  1. Kornhauser, Lewis & Rubinstein, Ariel & Wilson, Charles, 1989. "Reputation and Patience in the 'War of Attrition.'," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 56(221), pages 15-24, February.
  2. Roger B. Myerson, 1978. "Optimal Auction Design," Discussion Papers 362, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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  4. Casella, Alessandra & Eichengreen, Barry, 1994. "Can Foreign Aid Accelerate Stabilization?," CEPR Discussion Papers 961, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  6. Farrell, Joseph & Saloner, Garth, 1987. "Coordination Through Committees and Markets," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt5sn4b6v4, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  7. Jeremy Bulow & Ming Huang & Paul Klemperer, 1999. "Toeholds and Takeovers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 427-454, June.
  8. Jeremy Bulow & Paul Klemperer, 1991. "Rational Frenzies and Crashes," NBER Technical Working Papers 0112, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Krishna, Vijay & Morgan, John, 1997. "An Analysis of the War of Attrition and the All-Pay Auction," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 343-362, February.
  10. Riley, John G & Samuelson, William F, 1981. "Optimal Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 381-92, June.
  11. Gul, Faruk & Lundholm, Russell, 1995. "Endogenous Timing and the Clustering of Agents' Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 1039-66, October.
  12. Paul Klemperer & Jeremy Bulow, 1997. "The Generalized War of Attrition," Economics Series Working Papers 1998-W01, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  13. Baye, M.R. & Kovenock, D. & De Vries, C., 1992. "The All-Pay Auction with Complete Information," Papers 8-92-1, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
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  18. Klepper, Steven & Simons, Kenneth L, 1997. "Technological Extinctions of Industrial Firms: An Inquiry into Their Nature and Causes," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 379-460, March.
  19. Arye Hillman & Dov Samet, 1987. "Dissipation of contestable rents by small numbers of contenders," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 54(1), pages 63-82, January.
  20. Kennan, John & Wilson, Robert, 1989. "Strategic Bargaining Models and Interpretation of Strike Data," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 4(S), pages S87-130, Supplemen.
  21. Fudenberg, Drew & Kreps, David M, 1987. "Reputation in the Simultaneous Play of Multiple Opponents," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 541-68, October.
  22. Nitzan, Shmuel, 1994. "Modelling rent-seeking contests," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 41-60, May.
  23. Bliss, Christopher & Nalebuff, Barry, 1984. "Dragon-slaying and ballroom dancing: The private supply of a public good," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 1-12, November.
  24. J. Maynard Smith, 2010. "The Theory of Games and Evolution of Animal Conflicts," Levine's Working Paper Archive 448, David K. Levine.
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