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Competition For A Majority




We define the class of two‐player zero‐sum games with payoffs having mild discontinuities, which in applications typically stem from how ties are resolved. For such games, we establish sufficient conditions for existence of a value of the game, maximin and minimax strategies for the players, and a Nash equilibrium. If all discontinuities favor one player, then a value exists and that player has a maximin strategy. A property called payoff approachability implies existence of an equilibrium, and that the resulting value is invariant: games with the same payoffs at points of continuity have the same value and ɛ‐equilibria. For voting games in which two candidates propose policies and a candidate wins election if a weighted majority of voters prefer his proposed policy, we provide tie‐breaking rules and assumptions about voters' preferences sufficient to imply payoff approachability. These assumptions are satisfied by generic preferences if the dimension of the space of policies exceeds the number of voters; or with no dimensional restriction, if the electorate is sufficiently large. Each Colonel Blotto game is a special case in which each candidate allocates a resource among several constituencies and a candidate gets votes from those allocated more than his opponent offers; in this case, for simple‐majority rule we prove existence of an equilibrium with zero probability of ties.
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  • Paulo Barelli & Srihari Govindan & Robert Wilson, 2012. "Competition For A Majority," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000445, David K. Levine.
  • Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:786969000000000445

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Duggan, John, 2007. "Equilibrium existence for zero-sum games and spatial models of elections," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 52-74, July.
    2. Brian Roberson & Dmitriy Kvasov, 2012. "The non-constant-sum Colonel Blotto game," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 51(2), pages 397-433, October.
    3. Sergiu Hart, 2008. "Discrete Colonel Blotto and General Lotto games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 36(3), pages 441-460, March.
    4. Philip J. Reny, 1999. "On the Existence of Pure and Mixed Strategy Nash Equilibria in Discontinuous Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(5), pages 1029-1056, September.
    5. Brian Roberson, 2006. "The Colonel Blotto game," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 29(1), pages 1-24, September.
    6. Roger B. Myerson & Daniel Diermeier, 1999. "Bicameralism and Its Consequences for the Internal Organization of Legislatures," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1182-1196, December.
    7. Kvasov, Dmitriy, 2007. "Contests with limited resources," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 136(1), pages 738-748, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:mateco:v:71:y:2017:i:c:p:49-62 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Dan J. Kovenock & Brian Roberson, 2015. "Generalizations of the General Lotto and Colonel Blotto Games," CESifo Working Paper Series 5291, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Gagan Ghosh, 2015. "Non-existence of equilibria in simultaneous auctions with a common budget-constraint," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 44(2), pages 253-274, May.
    4. Philippe Bich & Rida Laraki, 2014. "On the Existence of Approximate Equilibria and Sharing Rule Solutions in Discontinuous Games," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-01071678, HAL.
    5. Boyer, Pierre C. & Konrad, Kai A. & Roberson, Brian, 2017. "Targeted campaign competition, loyal voters, and supermajorities," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 49-62.
    6. Capraro, Valerio & Scarsini, Marco, 2013. "Existence of equilibria in countable games: An algebraic approach," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 163-180.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C62 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Existence and Stability Conditions of Equilibrium
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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