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NICEP 2020-02: The first and last word in debates: Plaintive plaintiffs



Is it better to have the first or the last word in two-round debates like common law trials? If litigants always share available witnesses then they never prefer to present first (to lead), and may prefer to follow; and they never prefer to choose the order after observing the available witnesses than to always follow. Litigants can prefer to lead if they have different available witnesses because the outcomes when some litigant leads coincide with the outcomes in an alternative game where that litigant follows, but commits to its reaction function before observing its available witnesses. Leading is therefore a commitment device.

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Elena D’Agostino and Daniel J. Seidmann

Posted on Friday 13th November 2020

Nottingham Interdisciplinary Centre for Economic and Political Research

University of Nottingham
Law and Social Sciences Building
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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