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Optimal contest design, closeness and the contest success function

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  • Marco Runkel

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Abstract

This paper considers the optimal design of an asymmetric two-player contest when the designer’s payoff depends not only on performance of the contestants, but also on the closeness of the contest measured by the difference in winning probabilities. In contrast to previous studies, the impact of closeness on the optimal prize depends on the shape of the contest success function. Furthermore, including closeness in the designer’s objective may induce the designer to uniformly increase the contestants’ effort costs. A similar result is obtained in case the designer may handicap the stronger contestant, but an even contest is never optimal. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, B.V. 2006

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

Volume (Year): 129 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (October)
Pages: 217-231

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Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:129:y:2006:i:1:p:217-231

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100332

Related research

Keywords: Closeness; Contest design; Contest success function;

References

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  1. Yeon-Koo Che & Ian Gale, 2003. "Optimal Design of Research Contests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 646-671, June.
  2. Kovenock, D. & de Vries, C.G., 1995. "The All-Pay Auction with Complete Information," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 311.95, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  3. Nti, Kofi O, 1999. " Rent-Seeking with Asymmetric Valuations," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(3-4), pages 415-30, March.
  4. Moldovanu, Benny & Sela, Aner, 1999. "The Optimal Allocation of Prizes in Contests," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 99-75, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  5. Amegashie, J Atsu, 2000. " Some Results on Rent-Seeking Contests with Shortlisting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 105(3-4), pages 245-53, December.
  6. Kohli, Inderjit & Singh, Nirvikar, 1999. " Rent Seeking and Rent Setting with Asymmetric Effectiveness of Lobbying," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 99(3-4), pages 275-98, June.
  7. Stein, William E, 2002. " Asymmetric Rent-Seeking with More Than Two Contestants," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 113(3-4), pages 325-36, December.
  8. Gradstein, Mark, 1998. "Optimal contest design: volume and timing of rent seeking in contests," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 575-585, November.
  9. Barry Nalebuff & Ron Shachar, 1999. "Follow the Leader: Theory and Evidence on Political Participation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 525-547, June.
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  11. Dasgupta, Ani & Nti, Kofi O., 1998. "Designing an optimal contest," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 587-603, November.
  12. William E. Stein & Amnon Rapoport, 2004. "Asymmetric Two-Stage Group Rent-Seeking: Comparison of Two Contest Structures," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 118(1_2), pages 151-167, 01.
  13. Stefan Szymanski, 2003. "The Economic Design of Sporting Contests," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1137-1187, December.
  14. Baye, M.R. & Kovenock, D. & De Vries, C.G., 1992. "Rigging the Lobbying Process: An Application of the All- Pay Auction," Papers 9-92-2, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  15. Che, Yeon-Koo & Gale, Ian L, 1998. "Caps on Political Lobbying," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 643-51, June.
  16. Gradstein, Mark & Konrad, Kai A, 1999. "Orchestrating Rent Seeking Contests," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(458), pages 536-45, October.
  17. Amegashie, J Atsu, 1999. " The Design of Rent-Seeking Competitions: Committees, Preliminary and Final Contests," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 99(1-2), pages 63-76, April.
  18. Nti, Kofi O., 2004. "Maximum efforts in contests with asymmetric valuations," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 1059-1066, November.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Robert Ritz, 2008. "Influencing rent-seeking contests," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 135(3), pages 291-300, June.
  2. Derek Clark & Tore Nilssen, 2013. "Learning by doing in contests," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(1), pages 329-343, July.
  3. 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.
  4. Epstein, Gil S. & Mealem, Yosef & Nitzan, Shmuel, 2011. "Political culture and discrimination in contests," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1-2), pages 88-93, February.
  5. Marco Runkel, 2011. "Revenue Sharing, Competitive Balance and the Contest Success Function," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 12(3), pages 256-273, 08.
  6. Einav Hart & Judith Avrahami & Yaakov Kareev & Peter M. Todd, 2014. "Investing Even in Uneven Contests: Effects of Asymmetry on Investment in Experimental All-Pay Contests," Discussion Paper Series dp660, The Center for the Study of Rationality, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
  7. Marco Sahm, 2010. "The Contest Winner: Gifted or Venturesome?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3285, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Alasdair Brown & Subhasish M. Chowdhury, 2014. "The Hidden Perils of Affirmative Action: Sabotage in Handicap Contests," University of East Anglia Applied and Financial Economics Working Paper Series 062, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  9. 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).
  10. Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci & Eric Langlais & Bruno Lovat & Francesco Parisi, 2013. "Asymmetries in Rent-Seeking," EconomiX Working Papers 2013-5, University of Paris West - Nanterre la Défense, EconomiX.

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