June 12: Alexander Usvitskiy (QSMS Seminar)

Alexander Usvitskiy (HSE University) will present the paper “Support Networks in Contests ” (with Anastasia Antsygina, Mariya Teteryatnikova, James Tremewan) on June 12th, 2024, at 10:30 AM, in room QA406.


Many real-life competitive environments allow for a third party to be indirectly involved in the competition through supporting one or both conflicting parties. Such support can come from trade partners, colleagues, or allies, who can in turn benefit from the supported party’s success. In this paper we model such environments by introducing a two-stage game, in which two competing players have an opportunity to form pairwise support links with the third player before proceeding to the contest stage. We analyze under what conditions agents have incentives to form support links in view of the future conflict, what networks (if any) can be pairwise stable, and how the structure of support network affects players’ individual and total efforts in the contest. Our main result is that stable network connectivity is nonmonotone in the supporter’s benefit from the supported party’s success. Specifically, we find that as the benefit increases, network connectivity rises as linking becomes more attractive to the supporter, but then it falls as linking becomes less attractive to the competing players – the comparative statics which we test with a laboratory experiment.

June 10: Boris Knapp (QSMS Seminar)

Boris Knapp (Corvinus University of Budapest) will present the paper “Price Discrimination via Waiting Lists” on June 10th, 2024, at 10:30 AM, in room QA406.


Several markets, in particular some for luxury products, exhibit long periods of excess demand. In the short run, prices below the market clearing price can be explained by demand uncertainty or sticky prices, for example. In the long run, however, they are much more challenging to rationalize. This paper shows that a monopoly can use a covert tying practice that takes the form of a priority list to increase its profits beyond the standard monopoly profit. The market outcome is characterized by a (relatively) low price of the luxury good and a priority list that grants only some consumers the right to purchase it.