Choosing fair lotteries to defeat the competition
We study the following game: each agent i chooses a lottery over nonnegative numbers whose expectation is equal to his budget bi. The agent with the highest realized outcome wins (and agents only care about winning). This game is motivated by various real-world settings where agents each choose a gamble and the primary goal is to come out ahead. Such settings include patent races, stock market competitions, and R&D tournaments. We show that there is a unique symmetric equilibrium when budgets are equal. We proceed to study and solve extensions, including settings where agents choose their budgets (at a cost) and where budgets are private information.
KeywordsStrategic gambling Nash equilibrium Fair lotteries
JEL ClassificationsC70 C72 D81 L20
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