First-Mover Advantage in Best-Of Series: An Experimental Comparison of Role-Assignment Rules

47 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2012 Last revised: 18 Oct 2014

Bradley J. Ruffle

Wilfrid Laurier University - School of Business & Economics

Oscar Volij

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev - Department of Economics

Date Written: September 2014

Abstract

Kingston (1976) and Anderson (1977) show that the probability that a given contestant wins a best-of-2k 1 series of asymmetric, zero-sum, binary-outcome games is, for a large class of assignment rules, independent of which contestant is assigned the advantageous role in each component game. We design a laboratory experiment to test this hypothesis for four simple role-assignment rules. Despite the fact that play does not uniformly conform to the equilibrium, our results show that the four assignment rules are observationally equivalent at the series level: the fraction of series won by a given contestant and all other series outcomes do not differ across the four rules.

Keywords: experimental economics, two-sided competitions, best-of series, asymmetric game, psychological pressure

JEL Classification: C90, D02, L83

Suggested Citation

Ruffle, Bradley J. and Volij, Oscar, First-Mover Advantage in Best-Of Series: An Experimental Comparison of Role-Assignment Rules (September 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2128225 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2128225

Bradley J. Ruffle (Contact Author)

Wilfrid Laurier University - School of Business & Economics ( email )

Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3C5
Canada

Oscar Volij

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev - Department of Economics ( email )

Beer-Sheva 84105
Israel

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