Indefinitely Repeated Contests: An Experimental Study

57 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2018 Last revised: 30 Mar 2020

See all articles by Philip Brookins

Philip Brookins

University of South Carolina

Dmitry Ryvkin

Florida State University

Andrew Smyth

Marquette University - Department of Economics

Date Written: March 28, 2020

Abstract

We experimentally explore indefinitely repeated contests. Theory predicts more cooperation, in the form of lower expenditures, in indefinitely repeated contests with a longer expected time horizon, and our data support this prediction, although the effect is moderated by experience. Theory also predicts more cooperation in indefinitely repeated contests compared to finitely repeated contests of the same expected length, but we find mixed support empirically. Finally, theory predicts no difference in cooperation across indefinitely repeated winner-take-all and proportional-prize contests, yet we find some evidence of less cooperation in the latter. Our paper extends the experimental literature on indefinitely repeated games to contests and, more generally, contributes to an infant empirical literature on behavior in indefinitely repeated games with "large" strategy spaces.

Keywords: contest, repeated game, cooperation, experiment

JEL Classification: C72, C73, C91, D72

Suggested Citation

Brookins, Philip and Ryvkin, Dmitry and Smyth, Andrew, Indefinitely Repeated Contests: An Experimental Study (March 28, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3123996 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3123996

Philip Brookins

University of South Carolina ( email )

Department of Economics
1014 Greene St
Columbia, SC 29208
United States
8037773603 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://philipbrookins.com

Dmitry Ryvkin

Florida State University ( email )

Tallahassee, FL 30306-2180
United States

Andrew Smyth (Contact Author)

Marquette University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881
United States

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