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Persuasion as a Contest

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  • Stergios Skaperdas

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)

  • Samarth Vaidya

    ()
    (School of Accounting, Economics, and Finance, Faculty of Business and Law, Deakin University)

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 University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 070809.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:irv:wpaper:070809

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Related research

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. Gerry Antioch, 2013. "Persuasion is now 30 per cent of US GDP," Economic Roundup, Treasury, Australian Government, issue 1, pages 1-10, April.
  2. Jia, Hao & Skaperdas, Stergios & Vaidya, Samarth, 2013. "Contest functions: Theoretical foundations and issues in estimation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 211-222.
  3. 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).
  4. Ian A. MacKenzie & Markus Ohndorf, 2014. "Coasean Bargaining in the Presence of Pigouvian Taxation: Revisiting the Buchanan-Stubblebine-Turvey Theorem," Discussion Papers Series 515, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
  5. Martin Gregor, 2011. "Corporate lobbying: A review of the recent literature," Working Papers IES 2011/32, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Nov 2011.
  6. Enrico Spolaore, 2007. "Civil Conflict and Secessions," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0705, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  7. Corchón, Luis C. & Dahm, Matthias, 2010. "Welfare Maximizing Contest Success Functions when the Planner Cannot Commit," Working Papers 2072/148481, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
  8. Hao Jia & Stergios Skaperdas, 2011. "Technologies of Conflict," Working Papers 101111, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  9. Kai Konrad & Dan Kovenock, 2012. "Introduction," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 51(2), pages 241-245, October.
  10. María Cubel & Santiago Sanchez-Pages, 2014. "Difference-form group contests," Working Papers 2014/6, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  11. Denter, Philipp, 2013. "A theory of communication in political campaigns," Economics Working Paper Series 1302, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.

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