Public Choice

, Volume 144, Issue 1–2, pp 347–367 | Cite as

Less fighting than expected

Experiments with wars of attrition and all-pay auctions
  • Hannah Hörisch
  • Oliver Kirchkamp


While all-pay auctions are well researched experimentally, we do not have much laboratory evidence on wars of attrition. This paper tries to fill this gap. Technically, there are only a few differences between wars of attrition and all-pay auctions. Behaviorally, however, we find striking differences: As many studies, our experiment finds overbidding in all-pay auctions. In contrast, in wars of attrition we observe systematic underbidding.

We study bids and expenditures in different experimental frames and matching procedures and tie in with the literature on stepwise linear bidding functions.


War of attrition Dynamic bidding All-pay auction Stabilization Volunteer’s dilemma Experiment 

JEL Classification

C72 C92 D44 E62 H30 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universität BonnBonnGermany
  2. 2.School of EconomicsUniversity of JenaJenaGermany

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