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Measuring Competitiveness and Cooperativeness


  • Thomas Demuynck
  • Christian Seel
  • Giang Tran


We develop an index of competitiveness and cooperativeness which is based on the primitives of a normal-form game, i.e. players, strategies and payoffs. The index relies on a unique decomposition of a given game into a zero-sum game and a common-interest game. The index decreases in the distance to its zero-sum part and it increases in the distance to its common-interest part. Alternatively, the index increases if the share of variation in payoffs captured by the zero-sum part increases We compute our index for well-known classes of games such as Prisoner's Dilemma,games with Strategic Complements and Substitutes, All-pay auctions, Tullock contests, and Public Goods games. The comparative statics of our index coincide with economic intuition. The index does well in explaining experimental

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  • Thomas Demuynck & Christian Seel & Giang Tran, 2019. "Measuring Competitiveness and Cooperativeness," Working Papers ECARES 2019-12, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2013/286825

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John C. Harsanyi & Reinhard Selten, 1988. "A General Theory of Equilibrium Selection in Games," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262582384, December.
    2. Matthew Embrey & Guillaume R Fréchette & Sevgi Yuksel, 2018. "Cooperation in the Finitely Repeated Prisoner’s Dilemma," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 133(1), pages 509-551.
    3. Cason, Timothy N. & Masters, William A. & Sheremeta, Roman M., 2010. "Entry into winner-take-all and proportional-prize contests: An experimental study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(9-10), pages 604-611, October.
    4. Edward Millner & Michael Pratt, 1989. "An experimental investigation of efficient rent-seeking," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 62(2), pages 139-151, August.
    5. Parravano, Melanie & Poulsen, Odile, 2015. "Stake size and the power of focal points in coordination games: Experimental evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 191-199.
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    Competitiveness; cooperativeness; index;

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