IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Reputation and Patience in the 'War of Attrition.'


  • Kornhauser, Lewis
  • Rubinstein, Ariel
  • Wilson, Charles


This article presents an approach to selecting among the many subgame-perfect equilibria that exist in a standard concession game with complete information. The authors extend the description of a game to include a specific "irrational" (mixed) strategy for each player. Depending on the irrational strategies chosen, the authors demonstrate that this approach may select a unique equilibrium in which the weaker player concedes immediately. A player is weaker if he is more impatient or if his irrational strategy is to wait in any period with the higher probability. Copyright 1989 by The London School of Economics and Political Science.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:56:y:1989:i:221:p:15-24

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to JSTOR subscribers. See for details.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Martin Neil Baily & Eric J. Bartelsman & John Haltiwanger, 2001. "Labor Productivity: Structural Change And Cyclical Dynamics," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 420-433, August.
    2. Robert Inklaar & Mary O'Mahony & Marcel Timmer, 2005. "ICT AND EUROPE's PRODUCTIVITY PERFORMANCE: INDUSTRY-LEVEL GROWTH ACCOUNT COMPARISONS WITH THE UNITED STATES," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 51(4), pages 505-536, December.
    3. Shea, John, 1993. "The Input-Output Approach to Instrument Selection," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 11(2), pages 145-155, April.
    4. Hart, Robert A & Malley, Jim, 1996. "Excess Labour and the Business Cycle: A Comparative Study of Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(250), pages 325-342, May.
    5. Diewert, W. Erwin & Fox, Kevin J., 2008. "On the estimation of returns to scale, technical progress and monopolistic markups," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 145(1-2), pages 174-193, July.
    6. Matthew D. Shapiro, 1996. "Macroeconomic Implications of Variation in the Workweek of Capital," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(2), pages 79-134.
    7. Caballero, Ricardo J. & Lyons, Richard K., 1992. "External effects in U.S. procyclical productivity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 209-225, April.
    8. repec:dgr:rugggd:200368 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Basu, Susanto & Fernald, John G, 1997. "Returns to Scale in U.S. Production: Estimates and Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 249-283, April.
    10. Sbordone, Argia M, 1997. "Interpreting the Procyclical Productivity of Manufacturing Sectors: External Effects or Labor Hoarding?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(1), pages 26-45, February.
    11. Susanto Basu & John Fernald, 2001. "Why Is Productivity Procyclical? Why Do We Care?," NBER Chapters,in: New Developments in Productivity Analysis, pages 225-302 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Robert J. Gordon, 2000. "Does the "New Economy" Measure Up to the Great Inventions of the Past?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 49-74, Fall.
    13. Joaquim Oliveira Martins & Stefano Scarpetta & Dirk Pilat, 1996. "Mark-Up Ratios in Manufacturing Industries: Estimates for 14 OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 162, OECD Publishing.
    14. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1993. "Dynamic General Equilibrium Models with Imperfectly Competitive Product Markets," NBER Working Papers 4502, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 1995. "Capital Utilization and Returns to Scale," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1995, Volume 10, pages 67-124 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Imbs, Jean M., 1999. "Technology, growth and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 65-80, August.
    17. Roeger, Werner, 1995. "Can Imperfect Competition Explain the Difference between Primal and Dual Productivity Measures? Estimates for U.S. Manufacturing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(2), pages 316-330, April.
    18. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-1370, November.
    19. Caballero, Ricardo J. & Lyons, Richard K., 1990. "Internal versus external economies in European industry," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 805-826, June.
    20. Newey, Whitney & West, Kenneth, 2014. "A simple, positive semi-definite, heteroscedasticity and autocorrelation consistent covariance matrix," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 33(1), pages 125-132.
    21. Timmer, Marcel P. & Ypma, Gerard & Ark, Bart van der, 2003. "IT in the European Union: driving productivity divergence?," GGDC Research Memorandum 200363, Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen.
    22. Vecchi, Michela, 2000. "Increasing Returns, Labour Utilization and Externalities: Procyclical Productivity in the United States and Japan," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 67(266), pages 229-244, May.
    23. Hall, Robert E, 1988. "The Relation between Price and Marginal Cost in U.S. Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 921-947, October.
    24. Burnside, Craig, 1996. "Production function regressions, returns to scale, and externalities," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 177-201, April.
    25. Bartelsman, Eric J & Caballero, Ricardo J & Lyons, Richard K, 1994. "Customer- and Supplier-Driven Externalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 1075-1084, September.
    26. Hart, Robert A & Malley, James R, 1999. "Procyclical Labour Productivity: A Closer Look at a Stylized Fact," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 66(264), pages 533-550, November.
    27. Robert E. Hall, 2004. "Measuring Factor Adjustment Costs," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(3), pages 899-927.
    28. Susanto Basu & Miles S. Kimball, 1997. "Cyclical Productivity with Unobserved Input Variation," NBER Working Papers 5915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    29. Berndt, Ernst R. & Fuss, Melvyn A., 1986. "Productivity measurement with adjustments for variations in capacity utilization and other forms of temporary equilibrium," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1-2), pages 7-29.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. David P. Myatt, 2005. "Instant Exit from the Asymmetric War of Attrition," Economics Series Working Papers 160, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    2. Myatt, David P. & Wallace, Chris, 2008. "An evolutionary analysis of the volunteer's dilemma," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 67-76, January.
    3. Hattori, Keisuke, 2016. "Profit-maximizing Wages under Duopoly," MPRA Paper 70288, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Asako Yasushi, 2015. "One-Sided Games in a War of Attrition," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 15(2), pages 313-331, July.
    5. Johannes Hörner & Nicolas Sahuguet, 2011. "A war of attrition with endogenous effort levels," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 47(1), pages 1-27, May.
    6. Paul Klemperer & Jeremy Bulow, 1999. "The Generalized War of Attrition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 175-189, March.
    7. Peter Burton, 2004. "Hugging Trees: Claiming de Facto Property Rights by Blockading Resource Use," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 27(2), pages 135-163, February.
    8. Peter S. Burton, 2008. "Bargaining by Limiting Cooperation: Withholding Consent for the Level of a Public Good," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 10(4), pages 623-642, August.
    9. Dilip Abreu & David G. Pearce, 2006. "Bargaining, Reputation and Equilibrium Selection in Repeated Games with Contracts," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000640, UCLA Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:56:y:1989:i:221:p:15-24. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.