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Effort and Performance in Public Policy Contests

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  • GIL S. EPSTEIN
  • SHMUEL NITZAN

Abstract

Government intervention often gives rise to contests in which the possible "prizes" are determined by the status quo and some new public policy proposal. In this paper we study a general class of such two-player public policy contests and examine the effect of a change in the proposed policy, a change that may affect the payoffs of the two contestants, on their effort and performance. Our results extend the existing comparative statics studies that focus, in symmetric contests, on the effect of a change in the value of the prize or, in asymmetric contests, on the effect of one contestant's valuation of the prize. Our results hinge on a fundamental equation that specifies the equilibrium relationship between the strategic own-stake effect and the strategic rival's-stake effect. This fundamental equation clarifies the role of the three possible types of ability and stake asymmetry in determining the effect of payoff variations on the efforts and performance of the contestants. Copyright 2006 Blackwell Publishing Inc..

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Association for Public Economic Theory in its journal Journal of Public Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 8 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (05)
Pages: 265-282

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:8:y:2006:i:2:p:265-282

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  1. Terrance Hurley, 1998. "Rent dissipation and efficiency in a contest with asymmetric valuations," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 94(3), pages 289-298, March.
  2. Skaperdas, Stergios, 1992. "Cooperation, Conflict, and Power in the Absence of Property Rights," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 720-39, September.
  3. Epstein, Gil S & Nitzan, Shmuel, 2002. " Stakes and Welfare in Rent-Seeking Contests," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 112(1-2), pages 137-42, July.
  4. Ellingsen, Tore, 1991. "Strategic Buyers and the Social Cost of Monopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 648-57, June.
  5. Arye L. Hillman & John G. Riley, 1987. "Politically Contestable Rents and Transfers," UCLA Economics Working Papers 452, UCLA Department of Economics.
  6. Hurley, Terrance M. & Shogren, Jason F., 1998. "Effort levels in a Cournot Nash contest with asymmetric information," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 195-210, June.
  7. Nitzan, Shmuel, 1994. "Modelling rent-seeking contests," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 41-60, May.
  8. Stergios Skaperdas, 1996. "Contest success functions (*)," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 283-290.
  9. Gil S . Epstein & Shmuel Nitzan, 2002. "Endogenous Public Policy, Politicization and Welfare," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 4(4), pages 661-677, October.
  10. Fabella, Raul V., 1995. "The social cost of rent seeking under countervailing opposition to distortionary transfers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 235-247, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Epstein, Gil S. & Gang, Ira N., 2006. "Decentralizing Aid with Interested Parties," Working Paper Series RP2006/06, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  2. Gil Epstein & Ira Gang, 2010. "A Political Economy of the Immigrant Assimilation: Internal Dynamics," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1015, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  3. Gil Epstein & Igal Milchtaich & Shmuel Nitzan & Mordechai Schwarz, 2007. "Ambiguous political power and contest efforts," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 132(1), pages 113-123, July.
  4. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:8:y:2005:i:10:p:1-10 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Gil S. Epstein & Yosef Mealem, 2013. "Politicians, Governed vs. Non-Governed Interest Groups and Rent Dissipation," Working Papers 2013-09, Department of Economics, Bar-Ilan University.
  6. Epstein, Gil S. & Gang, Ira N., 2009. "Good governance and good aid allocation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 12-18, May.
  7. Epstein, Gil S. & Mealem, Yosef & Nitzan, Shmuel, 2012. "Lotteries vs. All-Pay Auctions in Fair and Biased Contests," IZA Discussion Papers 7032, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Gil S. Epstein & Shmuel Nitzan, 2005. "Lobbying and Compromise," CESifo Working Paper Series 1413, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Gil S. Epstein & Yosef Mealem, 2013. "Who Gains from Information Asymmetry?," Working Papers 2013-01, Department of Economics, Bar-Ilan University.
  10. Gil Epstein & Shmuel Nitzan & Mordechai Schwarz, 2008. "Performance and prize decomposition in contests," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 134(3), pages 429-443, March.
  11. Gil S. Epstein & Shmuel Nitzan, 2005. "Size and distribution of prizes and efforts in contests," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 8(10), pages 1-10.

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