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Caller Number Five and Related Timing Games

  • Andreas Park
  • Lones Smith

There are two varieties of timing games in economics: Having more predecessors helps in a war of attrition and hurts in a pre-emption game. This paper introduces and explores a spanning class with rank-order payoffs} that subsumes both as special cases. We assume a continuous time setting with unobserved actions and complete information, and explore how equilibria of these games capture many economic and social timing phenomena --- shifting between phases of slow and explosive (positive probability) stopping. Inspired by auction theory, we first show how the symmetric Nash equilibria are each equivalent to a different "potential function". This device straightforwardly yields existence and characterization results. The Descartes Rule of Signs, e.g., bounds the number phase transitions. We describe how adjacent timing game phases interact: War of attrition phases are not played out as long as they would be in isolation, but instead are cut short by pre-emptive atoms. We bound the number of equilibria, and compute the payoff and duration of each equilibrium.

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Paper provided by University of Toronto, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number tecipa-317.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 29 Apr 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-317
Contact details of provider: Postal: 150 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario
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  1. McLennan, A., 1999. "The Expected Number of Nash Equilibria of a Normal Form Game," Papers 306, Minnesota - Center for Economic Research.
  2. Baye, M.R. & Kovenock, D. & De Vries, C.G., 1991. "The All-Pay Auction With Complete Information," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1007, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  3. Nicolas, VIEILLE & Rida, LARAKI & Eilon, SOLAN, 2003. "Continuous-Time Games of Timing," Les Cahiers de Recherche 773, HEC Paris.
  4. Bulow, Jeremy I. & Klemperer, Paul, 1997. "The Generalized War of Attrition," CEPR Discussion Papers 1564, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Michael Ostrovsky & Michael Schwarz, 2006. "Synchronization under uncertainty," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, vol. 2(1), pages 1-16.
  6. Dilip Abreu & Markus K. Brunnermeier, 2003. "Bubbles and Crashes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 173-204, January.
  7. Bouis, Romain & Huisman, Kuno J.M. & Kort, Peter M., 2009. "Investment in oligopoly under uncertainty: The accordion effect," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 320-331, March.
  8. Hart, Sergiu & Mas-Colell, Andreu, 1989. "Potential, Value, and Consistency," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 589-614, May.
  9. Dilip Abreu & David G. Pearce, 2006. "Reputational Wars of Attrition with Complex Bargaining Postures," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000001218, David K. Levine.
  10. 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.
  11. Monderer, Dov & Shapley, Lloyd S., 1996. "Potential Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 124-143, May.
  12. Sahuguet, Nicolas, 2006. "Volunteering for heterogeneous tasks," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 333-349, August.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
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