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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Preemption Games: Theory and Experiment*

  • Author(s): Anderson, Steven T;
  • Friedman, Daniel;
  • Oprea, Ryan
  • et al.

Several investors face an irreversible investment opportunity whose value V is governed by Brownian motion with upward drift and random expiration. The �rst investor i to seize the opportunity before expiration receives the current V less a privately known cost Ci; the other investors receive nothing. We characterize Bayesian Nash Equilibrium (BNE) for this game, extending previously known results.

We also report a laboratory experiment with 72 subjects randomly matched into 600 tri- opolies. As predicted in BNE, subjects in triopolies invested at lower values than in monopolies, changes in Brownian parameters signi�cantly altered investment values in monopoly but not in triopoly; and the lowest cost investor in a triopoly usually preempted the others. Evidence was mixed on other BNE predictions, e.g., whether higher cost brings smaller markups. Overall, subjects' earnings came rather close to the BNE prediction.

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