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Is Emulation Good for You? The Ups and Downs of Rivalry

  • Daniel Léonard
  • Ngo Van Long

We model the emulation between two athletes whose goals are fixed by their coaches. The coaches in turn engage in a game of goal setting. We analyze the equilibriums of that game. For some range of parameter values, there are only mixed equilibriums, where one coach randomizes his goals while the other coach uses a pure strategy. We show that it is in an athlete's interest to have a stronger rival. Both athletes can gain if there is not a big gap between their ability levels. A very big gap, however, result in poorer performance of both. Nous étudions un phénomène d'émulation entre deux athlètes pour qui des objectifs sont axés par leur entraîneur. Cela conduit à un jeu stratégique entre les entraîneurs qui aboutit à un équilibre de Nash. Pour certaines valeurs des paramètres l'un joue une stratégie mixte tandis que l'autre joue une stratégie pure. On montre qu'il est très utile pour une athlète de se confronter à une autre athlète plus forte. Cela améliore la performance des deux. Si l'écart est trop grand, les conséquences sont très mauvaises pour les deux. Le vieil adage « Qui se ressemble s'assemble » se trouve validé.

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Paper provided by CIRANO in its series CIRANO Working Papers with number 2008s-02.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 01 Jan 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2008s-02
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  1. Clark, Damon, 2007. "Selective Schools and Academic Achievement," IZA Discussion Papers 3182, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Arye L. Hillman & John G. Riley, 1989. "Politically Contestable Rents And Transfers," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(1), pages 17-39, 03.
  3. Kaufman, Bruce E., 1999. "Emotional arousal as a source of bounded rationality," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 135-144, February.
  4. James D. Dana, 2005. "Strategic Differentiation And Strategic Emulation In Games With Uncertainty," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(3), pages 417-432, 09.
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