Endogenous timing of contest with asymmetric information
Simultaneous moves have been conventionally assumed in modeling rent-seeking competition. However, in reality many forms of contests involve contestants sequentially choosing their effort entries. This study allows agents to choose the timing of their moves before the contest takes place. In contrast to the previous literature, we introduce information asymmetries across agents. We find that in all sequential-move equilibria, the uninformed agent moves first. More generally we show that the order of agents’ moves in a sequential contest is a regularity stemming from information asymmetries. Furthermore, under plausible assumptions, sequential moves Pareto dominate simultaneous moves (from the view point of the players) and also result in lower rent-seeking expenditures. Our result explains the timing pattern in National Presidential Conventions observed from 1948 through 2004. Our result also applies to many other formal or informal institutions, which give rise to sequential contests. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2006
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