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Social Choice and Welfare

, Volume 48, Issue 3, pp 633–658 | Cite as

First-mover advantage in round-robin tournaments

  • Alex Krumer
  • Reut Megidish
  • Aner Sela
Original Paper

Abstract

We study round-robin tournaments with either three or four symmetric players whose values of winning are common knowledge. With three players there are three rounds, each of which includes one pair-wise game such that each player competes in two rounds only. The player who wins two games wins the tournament. We characterize the subgame perfect equilibrium and show that each player’s expected payoff and probability of winning is maximized when he competes in the first and the last rounds. With four players there are three rounds, each of which includes two sequential pair-wise games where each player plays against a different opponent in every round. We again characterize the subgame perfect equilibrium and show that a player who plays in the first game of each of the first two rounds has a first-mover advantage as reflected by a significantly higher winning probability as well as by a significantly higher expected payoff than his opponents.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Swiss Institute for Empirical Economic Research (SEW)University of St. GallenSt. GallenSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Applied Economics and Department of Managing Human ResourcesSapir Academic CollegeM.P. Hof AshkelonIsrael
  3. 3.Department of EconomicsBen-Gurion University of the NegevBeer-ShevaIsrael

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