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Lotteries vs. All-Pay Auctions in Fair and Biased Contests

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Author Info

  • Epstein, Gil S.

    ()
    (Bar-Ilan University)

  • Mealem, Yosef

    ()
    (Netanya Academic College)

  • Nitzan, Shmuel

    ()
    (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 designer's payoff under the optimal lottery is equal to his expected payoff under the optimal all-pay auction.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7032.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economics and Politics, 2013, 25(1), 48–60.
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7032

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

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References

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  1. Yeon-Koo Che & Ian Gale, 2000. "Optimal Design of Research Contests," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1784, Econometric Society.
  2. 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.
  3. Baye, M.R. & Kovenock, D. & De Vries, C.G., 1992. "Rigging the Lobbying Process: An Application of the All- Pay Auction," Papers, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics 9-92-2, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  4. Epstein, Gil S. & Gang, Ira N., 2008. "Good Governance and Good Aid Allocation," IZA Discussion Papers 3585, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Moldovanu, Benny & Sela, Aner, 2006. "Contest architecture," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 126(1), pages 70-96, January.
  6. Jörg Franke & Christian Kanzow & Wolfgang Leininger & Alexandra Väth, 2009. "Effort Maximization in Asymmetric N-Person Contest Games," CESifo Working Paper Series 2744, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Gradstein, Mark & Konrad, Kai A, 1999. "Orchestrating Rent Seeking Contests," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(458), pages 536-45, October.
  8. Gil S. Epstein & Yosef Mealem & Shmuel Nitzan, 2010. "Political Culture and Discrimination in Contests," Working Papers 2010-18, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Franke, Jörg & Kanzow, Christian & Leininger, Wolfgang & Schwartz, Alexandra, 2014. "Lottery versus all-pay auction contests: A revenue dominance theorem," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 116-126.
  2. Epstein, Gil S. & Mealem, Yosef, 2013. "Politicians, Governed vs. Non-Governed Interest Groups and Rent Dissipation," IZA Discussion Papers 7736, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Yosef Mealem & Shmuel Nitzan, 2012. "Differential Prize Taxation and Structural Discrimination in Contests," CESifo Working Paper Series 3831, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Yosef Mealem & Shmuel Nitzan, 2013. "Direct and Structural Discrimination in Contests," CESifo Working Paper Series 4518, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. 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.

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