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Efficiency and competition in the long run: The survival of the unfit

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  • Virág, Gábor

Abstract

In a dynamic contest the current incumbent competes against a randomly assigned entrant in a private value all pay auction each period. We focus on equilibria where the beliefs about the incumbent's type and the employed strategies are stationary. We show that inefficient types survive, even if the entrants arrive very frequently, because the entrant plays more aggressively than the incumbent, allowing a low type entrant to win against a high type incumbent. In an example we show that if the incumbent is challenged more often, then the equilibrium type of the incumbent is higher on average. When the value of the prize is the same for all players (the case studied in the public choice literature), the equilibrium rent of the bidders is fully dissipated as the incumbent is challenged infinitely often. The technical contribution lies in showing the existence of stationary equilibrium in an incomplete information game.

Suggested Citation

  • Virág, Gábor, 2009. "Efficiency and competition in the long run: The survival of the unfit," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 315-330, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:67:y:2009:i:1:p:315-330
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414, January.
    2. Baye, Michael R & Kovenock, Dan & de Vries, Casper G, 1999. "The Incidence of Overdissipation in Rent-Seeking Contests," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 99(3-4), pages 439-454, June.
    3. Eric Maskin & John Riley, 2000. "Asymmetric Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 413-438.
    4. Amann, Erwin & Leininger, Wolfgang, 1996. "Asymmetric All-Pay Auctions with Incomplete Information: The Two-Player Case," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 1-18, May.
    5. Halvor Mehlum & Karl Moene, 2006. "Fighting against the odds," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 75-87, January.
    6. Katzman, Brett, 1999. "A Two Stage Sequential Auction with Multi-Unit Demands," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 77-99, May.
    7. Jofre-Bonet, Mireia & Pesendorfer, Martin, 2000. "Bidding behavior in a repeated procurement auction: A summary," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 1006-1020, May.
    8. Engelbrecht-Wiggans, Richard & Milgrom, Paul R. & Weber, Robert J., 1983. "Competitive bidding and proprietary information," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 161-169, April.
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