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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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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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Keywords: contest design; efforts (revenue) maximization; discrimination; endogenous lottery; all-pay auction.;

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References

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  1. Gradstein, Mark & Konrad, Kai A, 1999. "Orchestrating Rent Seeking Contests," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(458), pages 536-45, October.
  2. Yeon-Koo Che & Ian Gale, 2000. "Optimal Design of Research Contests," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1784, Econometric Society.
  3. Gil S. Epstein & Yosef Mealem & Shmuel Nitzan, 2010. "Political Culture and Discrimination in Contests," CESifo Working Paper Series 3170, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Clark, Derek J. & Riis, Christian, 2000. "Allocation efficiency in a competitive bribery game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 109-124, May.
  5. Stergios Skaperdas, 1996. "Contest success functions (*)," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 283-290.
  6. Yeon-Koo Che & Ian Gale, 1998. "Caps on Political Lobbying," Microeconomics 9809003, EconWPA.
  7. Amegashie, J Atsu, 2000. " Some Results on Rent-Seeking Contests with Shortlisting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 105(3-4), pages 245-53, December.
  8. 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.
  9. Baye, M.R. & Kovenock, D. & De Vries, C.G., 1991. "Rigging The Lobbying Process: An Application Of The All- Pay Auction," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1002, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  10. Gil S. Epstein & Ira N. Gang, 2006. "Good Governance and Good Aid Allocation," Departmental Working Papers 200627, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  11. Lien, Da-Hsiang Donald, 1990. "Corruption and allocation efficiency," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 153-164, July.
  12. Fang, Hanming, 2002. " Lottery versus All-Pay Auction Models of Lobbying," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 112(3-4), pages 351-71, September.
  13. 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.
  14. Jörg Franke, 2007. "Does Affirmative Action Reduce Effort Incentives? A Contest Game Analysis," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 711.07, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  15. Gil Epstein & Shmuel Nitzan, 2006. "The Politics of Randomness," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 423-433, October.
  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.
  17. Alexander Matros & Daniel Armanios, 2009. "Tullock’s contest with reimbursements," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 141(1), pages 49-63, October.
  18. Marco Runkel, 2006. "Optimal contest design, closeness and the contest success function," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 129(1), pages 217-231, October.
  19. 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.
  20. Hao Jia, 2008. "A stochastic derivation of the ratio form of contest success functions," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 135(3), pages 125-130, June.
  21. Glazer, Amihai & Hassin, Refael, 1988. "Optimal Contests," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(1), pages 133-43, January.
  22. 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.
  23. Moldovanu, Benny & Sela, Aner, 2006. "Contest architecture," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 126(1), pages 70-96, January.
  24. Nti, Kofi O., 2004. "Maximum efforts in contests with asymmetric valuations," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 1059-1066, November.
  25. Arye L. Hillman & John G. Riley, 1987. "Politically Contestable Rents and Transfers," UCLA Economics Working Papers 452, UCLA Department of Economics.
  26. Glazer, Amihai, 1993. " On the Incentives to Establish and Play Political Rent-Seeking Games," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 75(2), pages 139-48, February.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. Franke, Jörg, 2012. "Affirmative action in contest games," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 105-118.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Yosef Mealem & Shmuel Nitzan, 2012. "Differential Prize Taxation and Structural Discrimination in Contests," CESifo Working Paper Series 3831, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Yosef Mealem & Shmuel Nitzan, 2013. "Direct and Structural Discrimination in Contests," CESifo Working Paper Series 4518, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Franke, Jörg & Kanzow, Christian & Leininger, Wolfgang & Schwartz, Alexandra, 2013. "Lottery versus All-Pay Auction Contests: A Revenue Dominance Theorem," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79998, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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