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Invader strategies in the war of attrition with private information

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  • Metzger, Lars Peter

Abstract

Second price all-pay auctions (wars of attritions) have an evolutionarily stable equilibrium in pure strategies if valuations are private information. I show that for any level of uncertainty there exists a pure deviation strategy arbitrarily close to the equilibrium strategy such that for some valuations the equilibrium strategy has a selective disadvantage against the deviation if the population mainly plays the deviation strategy. I show that agents with those valuations would prefer to deviate even farther from the equilibrium strategy, if the population collectively uses the deviation strategy. I argue that in the Bayesian game studied here, a mass deviation can be caused by the entry of a small group of agents. The results provided in this paper imply that the equilibrium strategy is indeed unstable if one considers rare and independent mutations on the space of valuations. Numeric calculations indicate that the closer the deviation strategy to the equilibrium strategy, the more valuations are destabilizing.

Suggested Citation

  • Metzger, Lars Peter, 2014. "Invader strategies in the war of attrition with private information," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 160-166.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:mateco:v:50:y:2014:i:c:p:160-166
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jmateco.2013.11.006
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    References listed on IDEAS

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