Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

The Incidence of Overdissipation in Rent-Seeking Contests


Author Info

  • Michael R. Baye

    (The Pennsylvania State University)

  • Dan Kovenock

    (Purdue University)

  • Casper G. de Vries

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam)


This paper reconsiders Tullock's analysis of rent seeking andwasteful overdissipation. The purpose of this paper is to point outthat even though his original analysis of overdissipation istechnically flawed, the definition of overdissipation can bemodified to explain instances in which rational rent-seekersspend more to win a prize than the prize is worth. We showed beforethat equilibrium mixed strategies in the Tullock game do notpermit overdissipation in expectation: the expected total amountspent competing for rents cannot exceed the value of the prize.However, since the equilibrium involves mixed-strategies forparticular realizations of the mixed strategies the totalamount spent competing for rents can exceed the value of theprize! In fact, we show that the cross-sectional incidence ofoverdissipation may be quite high. For a symmetric perfectlydiscriminating contest (R = &inf;), the probability of overdissipationin a symmetric equilibrium ranges from exactly one-half inthe two player case to approximately .44 as the number ofplayers approaches infinity.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 97-045/2.

as in new window
Date of creation: 15 May 1997
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:19970045

Contact details of provider:
Web page:

Related research


Other versions of this item:


No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.


Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.


This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


Access and download statistics


When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:19970045. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Antoine Maartens (+31 626 - 160 892)).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.