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Competition among contests

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  • Ghazala Azmat
  • Marc Möller

Abstract

When several contests compete for the participation of a common set of players, a contest's allocation of prizes not only induces incentive effects but also participation effects. Our model predicts that an increase in the sensitivity with which contest outcomes depend on players' efforts makes flatter prize structures more attractive to participants. In equilibrium, contests that aim to maximize the number of participants will award multiple prizes if and only if this sensitivity is sufficiently high. Moreover, the prize awarded to the winner is decreasing in the contests' sensitivity. We provide empirical evidence from professional road running using race-distance as a measure of sensitivity. We show that steeper prize structures are more attractive to top-ranked runners in longer, that is, less sensitive, races. In line with our theory, longer races do in fact offer steeper prize structures. Copyright (c) 2009, RAND.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by RAND Corporation in its journal The RAND Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 40 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 743-768

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Handle: RePEc:bla:randje:v:40:y:2009:i:4:p:743-768

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Cited by:
  1. Ghazala Azmat & Marc Möller, 2012. "The Distribution of Talent across Contests," Working Papers 600, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  2. Leuven, Edwin & Oosterbeek, Hessel & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2010. "Splitting Tournaments," IZA Discussion Papers 5186, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Matthias Dahm & Patricia Esteve, . "Affirmative Action through Extra Prizes," Discussion Papers 2014-08, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  4. Prüfer, J., 2008. "Semi-Public Contests," Discussion Paper 2008-023, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
  5. John Morgan & Dana Sisak & Felix Vardy, 2012. "On the Merits of Meritocracy," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-077/1, Tinbergen Institute.

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