Bradley J. Ruffle and Oscar Volij, (2012) “First-Mover Advantage in Two-Sided Competitions: An Experimental Comparison of Role-Assignment Rules." Discussion Paper No. 12-08, Monaster Center for Economic Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel.
Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2128225 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2128225. [PDF]
Kingston (1976) and Anderson (1977) show that the probability that a given contestant wins a best-of-2k 1 series of asymmetric, zero-sum, binary-outcome games is, for a large class of assignment rules, independent of which contestant is assigned the advantageous role in each component game. We design a laboratory experiment to test this hypothesis for four simple role-assignment rules. Despite the fact that play does not uniformly conform to the equilibrium, our results show that the four assignment rules are observationally equivalent at the series level: the fraction of series won by a given contestant and all other series outcomes do not differ across the four rules.