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The Generalized War of Attrition

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  • Bulow, Jeremy I.
  • Klemperer, Paul

Abstract

We generalize the War of Attrition model to allow for N+K firms competing for N prizes. Two special cases are of particular interest. First, if firms continue to pay their full costs after dropping out (as in a standard-setting context), each firm’s exit time is independent both of K and of the actions of other players. Second, in the limit in which firms pay no costs after dropping out (as in a natural-oligopoly problem), the field is immediately reduced to N+1 firms. Furthermore, we have perfect sorting, so it is always the K–1 lowest-value players who drop out in zero time, even though each player’s value is private information to the player. We apply our model to politics, explaining the length of time it takes to collect a winning coalition to pass a bill.

Suggested Citation

  • Bulow, Jeremy I. & Klemperer, Paul, 1997. "The Generalized War of Attrition," CEPR Discussion Papers 1564, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1564
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    'Strategic Independence'; 'Twoness'; Auctions; Natural Monopoly; Oligopoly; Political Decision Making; Standards; War of Attrition;

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General

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