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Contests with heterogeneous agents

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  • PARREIRAS, Sérgio O.
  • RUBINCHIK-PESSACH, Anna

Abstract

We study tournaments with many ex-ante asymmetric contestants, whose valuations for the prize are independently distributed. First, we characterize the equilibria in monotone strategies, second, we provide sufficient conditions for the equilibrium uniqueness and, finally, we reconcile the experimental evidence documenting the ‘workaholic’ behavior in contests with the related theory by introducing heterogeneity among participants. It is a ‘weak’ participant that might become a ‘workaholic’ in an equilibrium, that is, his effort density might crease at the highest valuation - weak, either because he is more risk averse or because his rivals consider that it is very unlikely that he has a high value for the prize. In contrast, effort densities are always decreasing in case of symmetry with identically distributed values for the prize and identical attitudes towards risk in case of CARA, as well as in contests with only two participants. Moreover, we show that for low valuations more risk averse agents are less likely to exert low effort than their ‘strong’ rivals, while those with dominated distribution of the prize valuation are more likely to do so. An explicit solution for the uniform distribution case with contestant-specific support is provided as well.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in its series CORE Discussion Papers with number 2006004.

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Date of creation: 00 Feb 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2006004

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  1. Noussair, Charles & Silver, Jonathon, 2006. "Behavior in all-pay auctions with incomplete information," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 189-206, April.
  2. Vijay Krishna & John Morgan, 1994. "An Analysis of the War of Attrition and the All-Pay Auction," Game Theory and Information 9409002, EconWPA.
  3. 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.
  4. Müller, W. & Schotter, A., 2003. "Workaholics and Drop Outs in Optimal Organizations," Discussion Paper 2003-43, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  5. Arieh Gavious & Benny Moldovanu & Aner Sela, 2002. "Bid Costs and Endogenous Bid Caps," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(4), pages 709-722, Winter.
  6. Baye, M.R. & Kovenock, D. & De Varies, C.G., 1990. "The All-Pay Auction With Complete Information," Papers 9051, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
  7. Lebrun, Bernard, 1999. "First Price Auctions in the Asymmetric N Bidder Case," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(1), pages 125-42, February.
  8. Athey, S., 1997. "Sigle Crossing Properties and the Existence of Pure Strategy Equilibria in Games of Incomplete Information," Working papers 97-11, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  9. Lizzeri, Alessandro & Persico, Nicola, 2000. "Uniqueness and Existence of Equilibrium in Auctions with a Reserve Price," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 83-114, January.
  10. Arye L. Hillman & John G. Riley, 1987. "Politically Contestable Rents and Transfers," UCLA Economics Working Papers 452, UCLA Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Ron Seigel, 2009. "Asymmetric Contests with Conditional Investments," Levine's Working Paper Archive 814577000000000201, David K. Levine.
  2. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:3:y:2006:i:9:p:1-8 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Nicolas Sahuguet, 2006. "Caps in asymmetric all-pay auctions with incomplete information," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 3(9), pages 1-8.
  4. Richard B. Freeman, 2006. "Optimal Inequality/Optimal Incentives: Evidence from a Tournament," NBER Working Papers 12588, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. René Kirkegaard, 2007. "Comparative Statics and Welfare in Heterogeneous Contests: Bribes, Caps, and Performance Thresholds," Working Papers 0702, Brock University, Department of Economics.
  6. Rene Kirkegaard, 2008. "Favoritism in Contests: Head Starts and Handicaps," Working Papers 0805, Brock University, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2008.

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