The Order of Move in a Conversational War of Attrition

This note investigates, in part theoretically and in part computationally, when and how the order of move matters in a Conversational War of Attrition (Meyer-ter-Vehn, Smith, and Bognar, 2017). Switching the first mover flips the outcome of the debate for certain type-realizations and triggers two potentially opposing forces on jurors’ ex-ante expected costs. In the finite-horizon version of the game, there is a second-to-last-mover advantage that prevails if the jurors’ bias dominates their impatience, and a first-mover-advantage that prevails if impatience dominates bias. In the infinite-horizon version, there is an unambiguous first-mover-advantage. These mechanisms are reminiscent of the seminal Rubinstein (1982) sequential bargaining game.

Draft available upon request.

Christian Decker
Christian Decker
PhD Candidate in Economics