A Simple Model of Equilibrium in Search Procedures

Abstract

The paper presents a simple game-theoretic model in which players decide on search procedures for a prize located in one of a set of labeled boxes. The prize is awarded to the player who finds it first. A player can decide on the number of (costly) search units he employs and on the order in which he conducts the search. It is shown that in equilibrium, the players employ an equal number of search units and conduct a completely random search. The paper demonstrates that the search procedure is intrinsically inefficient. Journal of Economic Literature Classification Number: D83.

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