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Caller Number Five and related timing games

  • Park, Andreas


    (Department of Economics, University of Toronto)

  • Smith, Lones


    (Department of Economics, University of Michigan)

There are two varieties of timing games in economics: wars of attrition, in which having more predecessors helps, and pre-emption games, in which having more predecessors hurts. This paper introduces and explores a spanning class with rank-order payoffs that subsumes both varieties as special cases. We assume time is continuous, actions are unobserved, and information is complete, and explore how equilibria of the games, in which there is shifting between phases of slow and explosive (positive probability) stopping, capture many economic and social timing phenomena. Inspired by auction theory, we first show how each symmetric Nash equilibrium is equivalent to a different "potential function.'' By using this function, we straightforwardly obtain existence and characterization results. Descartes' Rule of Signs bounds the number of phase transitions. We describe how adjacent timing game phases interact: war of attrition phases are not played out as long as they would be in isolation, but instead are cut short by pre-emptive atoms. We bound the number of equilibria, and compute the payoff and duration of each equilibrium.

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Article provided by Econometric Society in its journal Theoretical Economics.

Volume (Year): 3 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)

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Handle: RePEc:the:publsh:375
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  1. Dilip Abreu & Markus K. Brunnermeier, 2003. "Bubbles and Crashes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 173-204, January.
  2. Hendricks, Ken & Weiss, Andrew & Wilson, Charles A, 1988. "The War of Attrition in Continuous Time with Complete Information," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 29(4), pages 663-80, November.
  3. Andrew McLennan, 2005. "The Expected Number of Nash Equilibria of a Normal Form Game," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(1), pages 141-174, 01.
  4. Bouis, Romain & Huisman, Kuno & Kort, Peter M., 2009. "Investment in oligopoly under uncertainty: The accordion effect," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/12655, Paris Dauphine University.
  5. Jeremy I. Bulow & Paul Klemperer, 1996. "The Generalized War of Attrition," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1142, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  6. Baye, M.R. & Kovenock, D. & De Varies, C.G., 1990. "The All-Pay Auction With Complete Information," Papers 9051, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
  7. Hart, Sergiu & Mas-Colell, Andreu, 1989. "Potential, Value, and Consistency," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 589-614, May.
  8. Monderer, Dov & Shapley, Lloyd S., 1996. "Potential Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 124-143, May.
  9. Nicolas, VIEILLE & Rida, LARAKI & Eilon, SOLAN, 2003. "Continuous-Time Games of Timing," Les Cahiers de Recherche 773, HEC Paris.
  10. Sahuguet, Nicolas, 2006. "Volunteering for heterogeneous tasks," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 333-349, August.
  11. Michael Ostrovsky & Michael Schwarz, 2006. "Synchronization under uncertainty," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, vol. 2(1), pages 1-16.
  12. Dilip Abreu & David G. Pearce, 2006. "Reputational Wars of Attrition with Complex Bargaining Postures," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000001218, David K. Levine.
  13. Shinkai, Tetsuya, 2000. "Second Mover Disadvantages in a Three-Player Stackelberg Game with Private Information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 293-304, February.
  14. Levin, Dan & Peck, James, 2003. " To Grab for the Market or to Bide One's Time: A Dynamic Model of Entry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(3), pages 536-56, Autumn.
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