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Lotteries vs. All-Pay Auctions in Fair and Biased Contests

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  • Gil S. Epstein

    ()
    (Bar-Ilan University)

  • Yosef Mealem
  • Shmuel Nitzan

    ()
    (Bar-Ilan University)

Abstract

The form of contests for a single fixed prize can be determined by a designer who maximizes the contestants' efforts. This paper establishes that, under common knowledge of the two asymmetric contestants' prize valuations, a fair Tullock-type endogenously determined lottery is always superior to an all-pay-auction; it yields larger expected efforts (revenues) for the contest designer. If the contest can be unfair (structural discrimination is allowed), then the optimal lottery cannot be dominated by an all-pay-auction.

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File URL: http://econ.biu.ac.il/files/economics/working-papers/2011-29.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Bar-Ilan University in its series Working Papers with number 2011-29.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:biu:wpaper:2011-29

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Web page: http://econ.biu.ac.il
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Keywords: contest design; efforts (revenue) maximization; discrimination; endogenous lottery; all-pay auction.;

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References

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  1. Alcalde, José & Dahm, Matthias, 2010. "Rent seeking and rent dissipation: A neutrality result," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 1-7, February.
  2. Baye, Michael R & Kovenock, Dan & de Vries, Casper G, 1993. "Rigging the Lobbying Process: An Application of the All-Pay Auction," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 289-94, March.
  3. Jörg Franke & Christian Kanzow & Wolfgang Leininger & Alexandra Väth, 2009. "Effort Maximization in Asymmetric N-person Contest Games," Ruhr Economic Papers 0130, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  4. 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.
  5. Epstein, Gil S. & Mealem, Yosef & Nitzan, Shmuel, 2011. "Political culture and discrimination in contests," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 88-93.
  6. Skaperdas, Stergios, 1996. "Contest Success Functions," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 283-90, February.
  7. Yeon-Koo Che & Ian Gale, 2000. "Optimal Design of Research Contests," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1784, Econometric Society.
  8. Gil S. Epstein & Shmuel Nitzan, 2006. "Effort and Performance in Public Policy Contests," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 8(2), pages 265-282, 05.
  9. Franke, Jörg, 2012. "Affirmative action in contest games," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 105-118.
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  11. Gil S. Epstein & Ira N. Gang, 2006. "Good Governance and Good Aid Allocation," Departmental Working Papers 200627, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  12. Nti, Kofi O., 2004. "Maximum efforts in contests with asymmetric valuations," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 1059-1066, November.
  13. Moldovanu, Benny & Sela, Aner, 2002. "Contest Architecture," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 02-06, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  14. Glazer, Amihai, 1993. " On the Incentives to Establish and Play Political Rent-Seeking Games," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 75(2), pages 139-48, February.
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  16. Jörg Franke & Christian Kanzow & Wolfgang Leininger & Alexandra Schwartz, 2013. "Effort maximization in asymmetric contest games with heterogeneous contestants," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 52(2), pages 589-630, March.
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  22. Gil Epstein & Shmuel Nitzan, 2006. "The Politics of Randomness," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 423-433, October.
  23. Che, Yeon-Koo & Gale, Ian, 1997. " Rent Dissipation When Rent Seekers Are Budget Constrained," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 92(1-2), pages 109-26, July.
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  25. Fang, Hanming, 2002. " Lottery versus All-Pay Auction Models of Lobbying," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 112(3-4), pages 351-71, September.
  26. 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.
  27. Hao Jia, 2008. "A stochastic derivation of the ratio form of contest success functions," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 135(3), pages 125-130, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Yosef Mealem & Shmuel Nitzan, 2012. "Differential Prize Taxation and Structural Discrimination in Contests," CESifo Working Paper Series 3831, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Yosef Mealem & Shmuel Nitzan, 2012. "Equity and Effectiveness of Optimal Taxation in Contests under an All-Pay Auction," CESifo Working Paper Series 3712, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Jörg Franke & Christian Kanzow & Wolfgang Leininger & Alexandra Schwartz, 2012. "Lottery versus All-Pay Auction Contests – A Revenue Dominance Theorem," Ruhr Economic Papers 0315, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  4. Yosef Mealem & Shmuel Nitzan, 2014. "Equity and effectiveness of optimal taxation in contests under an all-pay auction," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 437-464, February.
  5. Yosef Mealem & Shmuel Nitzan, 2013. "Direct and Structural Discrimination in Contests," CESifo Working Paper Series 4518, CESifo Group Munich.

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