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Social Welfare in Search Games with Asymmetric Information

Bavly, Gilad and Heller, Yuval and Schreiber, Amnon (2020): Social Welfare in Search Games with Asymmetric Information.

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Abstract

We consider games in which players search for a hidden prize, and they have asymmetric information about the prize's location. We study the social payoff in equilibria of these games. We present sufficient conditions for the existence of an equilibrium that yields the first-best payoff (i.e., the highest social payoff under any strategy profile), and we characterize the first-best payoff. The results have interesting implications for innovation contests and R&D races.

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