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Innovation Contests

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  • David Pérez-Castrillo
  • David Wettstein

Abstract

We study innovation contests with asymmetric information and identical contestants, where contestants’ efforts and innate abilities generate inventions of varying qualities. The designer offers a reward to the contestant achieving the highest quality and receives the revenue generated by the innovation. We characterize the equilibrium behavior, outcomes and payoffs for both nondiscriminatory and discriminatory (where the reward is contestant-dependent) contests. We derive conditions under which the designer obtains a larger payoff when using a discriminatory contest and describe settings where these conditions are satisfied.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 654.

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Date of creation: Aug 2012
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Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:654

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Keywords: contests; auctions; innovations; discrimination;

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References

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  1. Kaplan, Todd R. & Luski, Israel & Wettstein, David, 2003. "Innovative activity and sunk cost," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(8), pages 1111-1133, October.
  2. Nirvikar Singh & Donald Wittman, 2001. "Contests where there is variation in the marginal productivity of effort," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 711-744.
  3. 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.
  4. Stefan Jönsson & Armin Schmutzler, 2013. "All-pay auctions: Implementation and optimality," ECON - Working Papers 108, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
  5. Benny Moldovanu & Aner Sela, 2001. "The Optimal Allocation of Prizes in Contests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 542-558, June.
  6. Kirkegaard, René, 2013. "Handicaps in incomplete information all-pay auctions with a diverse set of bidders," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 98-110.
  7. Steven D. Levitt, 1995. "Optimal Incentive Schemes When Only the Agents' "Best" Output Matters to the Principal," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(4), pages 744-760, Winter.
  8. Amann, Erwin & Leininger, Wolfgang, 1996. "Asymmetric All-Pay Auctions with Incomplete Information: The Two-Player Case," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 1-18, May.
  9. Newell, Richard & Wilson, Nathan, 2005. "Technology Prizes for Climate Change Mitigation," Discussion Papers dp-05-33, Resources For the Future.
  10. Konrad, Kai A., 2002. "Investment in the absence of property rights; the role of incumbency advantages," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(8), pages 1521-1537, September.
  11. Ron Siegel, 2010. "Asymmetric Contests with Conditional Investments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2230-60, December.
  12. Krishna, Vijay & Morgan, John, 1997. "An Analysis of the War of Attrition and the All-Pay Auction," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 343-362, February.
  13. Taylor, Curtis R, 1995. "Digging for Golden Carrots: An Analysis of Research Tournaments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 872-90, September.
  14. Konrad, Kai A., 2009. "Strategy and Dynamics in Contests," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199549603.
  15. Kirkegaard, René, 2012. "Favoritism in asymmetric contests: Head starts and handicaps," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 226-248.
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Cited by:
  1. Dahm, Matthias & Esteve, Patrícia,, 2013. "Affirmative Action through Extra Prizes," Working Papers 2072/222197, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.

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