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Using Auctions To Reward Tournament Winners: Theory and Experimental Investigations


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  • Richard L. Fullerton
  • Bruce G. Linster
  • Michael McKee
  • Stephen Slate


This article explores theoretical and experimental implications of using auctions to reward winners of research tournaments. This process is a hybrid of the research tournament for a prize and a first-price auction held after the research is complete. The bids in the auction consist of a vector of both quality of the innovation and price. The experimental evidence supports the hypothesis that conducting auctions at the end of research tournaments will generally reduce the sponsor's prize expenditure relative to fixed-prize research tournaments. The potential importance of these results to the U.S. Department of Defense acquisition process is emphasized.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 33 (2002)
Issue (Month): 1 (Spring)
Pages: 62-84

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Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:33:y:2002:i:spring:p:62-84

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Cited by:
  1. David Hendry, 2010. "Climate Change: Lessons for our Future from the Distant Past," Economics Series Working Papers, University of Oxford, Department of Economics 485, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Jason Shachat & J. Todd Swarthout, 2003. "Procurement Auctions for Differentiated Goods," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University 2006-15, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University, revised Apr 2009.
  3. Prüfer, J., 2008. "Semi-Public Contests," Discussion Paper, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center 2008-023, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
  4. Alexander Matros, 2006. "Elimination Tournaments where Players Have Fixed Resources," Working Papers, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics 205, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2006.
  5. Anja Schöttner, 2008. "Fixed-prize tournaments versus first-price auctions in innovation contests," Economic Theory, Springer, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 57-71, April.
  6. Todd R. Kaplan & Shmuel Zamir, 2014. "Advances in Auctions," Discussion Papers, Exeter University, Department of Economics 1405, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  7. J. Todd Swarthout & Jason Shachat, 2004. "The performance of reverse auctions versus request for quotes when procuring goods with quality differences," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings, Econometric Society 255, Econometric Society.
  8. Donja Darai & Jens Grosser & Nadja Trhal, 2009. "Patents versus Subsidies – A Laboratory Experiment," SOI - Working Papers, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich 0905, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  9. repec:wyi:journl:002123 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Giebe, Thomas, 2010. "Innovation Contests with Entry Auction," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University 307, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  11. Nicola Dimitri, 2012. "Some Law & Economics Considerations on the EU Pre-Commercial Procurement of Innovation," Working Papers, Maastricht School of Management 2012/10, Maastricht School of Management.


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