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Persuasion as a Contest

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  • Stergios Skaperdas
  • Samarth Vaidya

Abstract

From marketing and advertising to political campaigning and court proceedings, contending parties expend resources to persuade an audience of the correctness of their view. We examine how the probability of persuading the audience depends on the resources expended by the parties, so that persuasion can be modelled as a contest. We use a Bayesian approach whereby the audience makes inferences solely based on the evidence presented to them. The evidence is produced by the resources expended by the contending parties. We find conditions on evidence production and likelihood functions that yield the well-known additive contest success functions, including the logit function as well as the one used in all-pay auctions. We also find conditions that produce a “difference” functional form. In all cases, there are three main determinants of which side the audience chooses: (i) the truth and other objective parameters of the environment; (ii) the biases of the audience as distilled in their priors and the likelihood function employed ; and (iii) the resources expended by the parties interested in persuading the audience.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2160.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2160

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Keywords: rent-seeking; advertising; litigation; political campaigning; property rights;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Luis Corchon & Matthias Dahm, 2009. "Welfare maximizing contest success functions when the planner cannot commit," Economics Working Papers, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía we097343, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  2. Jia, Hao & Skaperdas, Stergios & Vaidya, Samarth, 2013. "Contest functions: Theoretical foundations and issues in estimation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 211-222.
  3. Ian A. MacKenzie & Markus Ohndorf, 2014. "Coasean Bargaining in the Presence of Pigouvian Taxation: Revisiting the Buchanan-Stubblebine-Turvey Theorem," Discussion Papers Series, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia 515, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
  4. Denter, Philipp, 2013. "A theory of communication in political campaigns," Economics Working Paper Series, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science 1302, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
  5. Epstein, Gil S. & Mealem, Yosef & Nitzan, Shmuel, 2012. "The Efficacy and Efforts of Interest Groups in Post Elections Policy Formation," IZA Discussion Papers 7031, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Enrico Spolaore, 2008. "Civil conflict and secessions," Economics of Governance, Springer, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 45-63, January.
  7. María Cubel & Santiago Sanchez-Pages, 2014. "Difference-form group contests," Working Papers, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB) 2014/6, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  8. Martin Gregor, 2011. "Corporate lobbying: A review of the recent literature," Working Papers IES, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies 2011/32, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Nov 2011.
  9. Michael McBride & Stergios Skaperdas & Pi-Han Tsai, 2014. "Why Go to Court? Bargaining Failure under the Shadow of Trial with Complete Information," Working Papers, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics 131406, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  10. Hao Jia & Stergios Skaperdas, 2011. "Technologies of Conflict," Working Papers, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics 101111, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  11. Kai Konrad & Dan Kovenock, 2012. "Introduction," Economic Theory, Springer, Springer, vol. 51(2), pages 241-245, October.
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