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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. 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.
  2. Monderer, Dov & Shapley, Lloyd S., 1996. "Potential Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 124-143, May.
  3. 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.
  4. Rida Laraki & Eilon Solan & Nicolas Vieille, 2003. "Continuous-time Games of Timing," Discussion Papers 1363, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. 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.
  6. Paul Klemperer & Jeremy Bulow, 1999. "The Generalized War of Attrition," Game Theory and Information 9901004, EconWPA.
  7. 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.
  8. Andrew McLennan, 2005. "The Expected Number of Nash Equilibria of a Normal Form Game," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(1), pages 141-174, 01.
  9. Hendricks, Ken & Weiss, Andrew & Wilson, Charles A, 1988. "The War of Attrition in Continuous Time with Complete Information," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 29(4), pages 663-80, November.
  10. 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.
  11. Dilip Abreu & David G. Pearce, 2006. "Reputational Wars of Attrition with Complex Bargaining Postures," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000001218, David K. Levine.
  12. repec:dgr:kubcen:200669 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Sahuguet, Nicolas, 2006. "Volunteering for heterogeneous tasks," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 333-349, August.
  14. Hart, Sergiu & Mas-Colell, Andreu, 1989. "Potential, Value, and Consistency," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 589-614, May.
  15. 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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