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Multi-Battle Contests: An Experimental Study

Author

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  • Shakun D. Mago

    (Department of Economics, Robins School of Business, University of Richmond)

  • Roman M. Sheremeta

    (Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University and Economic Science Institute, Chapman University)

Abstract

We examine behavior of subjects in simultaneous and sequential multi-battle contests, where each individual battle is modeled as an all-pay auction with complete information. In simultaneous bestof-three contests, subjects are predicted to make positive bids in all three battles, but we find that subjects often make positive bids in only two battles. In sequential contests, theory predicts sizable bids in the first battle and no bids in the subsequent battles. Contrary to this prediction, subjects significantly underbid in the first battle and overbid in subsequent battles. Consequently, instead of always ending in the second battle, contests often proceeds to the third battle. Finally, although the aggregate bid in simultaneous contests is similar to that in sequential contests, in both settings, subjects make higher aggregate bids than predicted. The observed behavior of subjects can be rationalized by a combination of multi-dimensional iterative reasoning and a non-monetary utility of winning.

Suggested Citation

  • Shakun D. Mago & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2016. "Multi-Battle Contests: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 16-25, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:chu:wpaper:16-25
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    Cited by:

    1. Montero García, María & Possajennikow, Alex & Sefton, Martín & Turocy, Theodore L., 2013. "Majoritarian Contests with Asymmetric Battlefields: An Experiment," IKERLANAK Ikerlanak;2013-76, Universidad del País Vasco - Departamento de Fundamentos del Análisis Económico I.
    2. Shakun D. Mago & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2019. "New Hampshire Effect: behavior in sequential and simultaneous multi-battle contests," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 22(2), pages 325-349, June.
    3. Zeynep B. Irfanoglu & Shakun D. Mago & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2014. "The New Hampshire Effect: Behavior in Sequential and Simultaneous Election Contests," Working Papers 14-15, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    4. Daniel Houser & Jian Song, 2021. "Non-exclusive Group Contests: An Experimental Analysis," Working Papers 1083, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science.
    5. Emmanuel Dechenaux & Dan Kovenock & Roman Sheremeta, 2015. "A survey of experimental research on contests, all-pay auctions and tournaments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(4), pages 609-669, December.
    6. Dan Kovenock & Brian Roberson & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2019. "The attack and defense of weakest-link networks," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 179(3), pages 175-194, June.
    7. Gelder, Alan & Kovenock, Dan, 2017. "Dynamic behavior and player types in majoritarian multi-battle contests," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 444-455.
    8. Curtis R. Price & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2015. "Endowment Origin, Demographic Effects, and Individual Preferences in Contests," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(3), pages 597-619, September.
    9. Roman M. Sheremeta, 2016. "The pros and cons of workplace tournaments," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 302-302, October.
    10. Mago, Shakun D. & Sheremeta, Roman M. & Yates, Andrew, 2013. "Best-of-three contest experiments: Strategic versus psychological momentum," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 287-296.
    11. Duffy, John & Matros, Alexander, 2017. "Stochastic asymmetric Blotto games: An experimental study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 139(C), pages 88-105.
    12. Fu, Qiang & Ke, Changxia & Tan, Fangfang, 2015. "“Success breeds success” or “Pride goes before a fall”?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 57-79.
    13. Deck, Cary & Sheremeta, Roman M., 2019. "The tug-of-war in the laboratory," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C).
    14. Bradley J. Ruffle & Oscar Volij, 2016. "First-mover advantage in best-of series: an experimental comparison of role-assignment rules," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 45(4), pages 933-970, November.
    15. Roman M. Sheremeta, 2013. "Overbidding And Heterogeneous Behavior In Contest Experiments," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(3), pages 491-514, July.
    16. Fehrler, Sebastian & Schneider, Maik T., 2021. "Buying supermajorities in the lab," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 113-154.
    17. Christian Ewerhart, 2016. "A "fractal" solution to the chopstick auction," ECON - Working Papers 229, Department of Economics - University of Zurich, revised Apr 2017.
    18. Feng, Xin & Lu, Jingfeng, 2018. "How to split the pie: Optimal rewards in dynamic multi-battle competitions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 82-95.
    19. Christian Ewerhart & Julian Teichgräber, 2019. "Multi-battle contests, finite automata, and the tug-of-war," ECON - Working Papers 318, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    20. Xiandeng Jiang, 2018. "Relative Performance Prizes and Dynamic Incentives in Best-of-N Contests," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 53(3), pages 563-590, November.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    multi-battle contest; experiments; iterative reasoning; overdissipation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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