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Caller Number Five: Timing Games that Morph From One Form to Another

  • Andreas Park
  • Lones Smith

There are two well-studied timing games in economics: In a War of Attrition, having more predecessors helps; in a Pre-emption Game, more predecessors hurts. This paper introduces and explores a rich new spanning class of timing games with _rank-order payoffs_ that subsumes both timing games as special cases. This explains a wide array of economic and social timing phenomena. Indeed, assuming unobserved actions and complete information, we identify equilibria that display both smooth and explosive entry. Anticipation of later timing games influences current play --- from swelling the magnitude of pre-emptive explosions to truncating wars of attrition. We provide conditions for existence, characterize equilibria, and compare outcomes under unobservable and observable actions. Both settings' equilibria show similarities, and the unobservable actions case provides intuitive insights as to likely equilibria with observable actions. The analysis turns in part on Karlin's 1968 theory of total positivity.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2004 Meeting Papers with number 871.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed004:871
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  1. Paul Klemperer & Jeremy Bulow, 1999. "The Generalized War of Attrition," Game Theory and Information 9901004, EconWPA.
  2. Dilip Abreu & Markus K. Brunnermeier, 2002. "Bubbles and crashes," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24905, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Sahuguet, Nicolas, 2006. "Volunteering for heterogeneous tasks," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 333-349, August.
  4. Shinkai, Tetsuya, 2000. "Second Mover Disadvantages in a Three-Player Stackelberg Game with Private Information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 293-304, February.
  5. Hendricks, Kenneth & Weiss, Andrew & Wilson, Charles, 1987. "The War of Attrition in Continuous Time with Complete Information," Working Papers 87-03, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  6. Hart, Sergiu & Mas-Colell, Andreu, 1989. "Potential, Value, and Consistency," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 589-614, May.
  7. Levin, Dan & Peck, James, 2003. " To Grab for the Market or to Bide One's Time: A Dynamic Model of Entry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(3), pages 536-56, Autumn.
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