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On the Role of Information in Contests

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  • Pradeep Dubey

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    (Department of Economics, Stony Brook University)

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    Abstract

    Consider a contest for a prize in which each player knows his own ability, but may or may not know those of his rivals (the complete or incomplete information regimes). Our main result is that, if the value of the prize is high, more e¤ort and output are engendered under incomplete information; whereas, if the value is low, that distinction goes to complete information. We also examine strategic behavior of a "contest manager" who is privy to information about the abilities of all the players. It turns out that, in order to inspire performance, it is often better for him neither to reveal all nor to conceal all, but to follow a middle path of partial revelation.

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    File URL: http://www.sunysb.edu/economics/research/papers/2012/contests.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2012
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Stony Brook University, Department of Economics in its series Department of Economics Working Papers with number 12-11.

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    Date of creation: Oct 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:nys:sunysb:12-11

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    1. Sherwin Rosen, 1985. "Prizes and Incentives in Elimination Tournaments," NBER Working Papers 1668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Moldovanu, Benny & Sela, Aner, 1999. "The Optimal Allocation of Prizes in Contests," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 99-75, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
    3. Arye L. Hillman & John G. Riley, 1987. "Politically Contestable Rents and Transfers," UCLA Economics Working Papers 452, UCLA Department of Economics.
    4. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-64, October.
    5. Barut, Yasar & Kovenock, Dan, 1998. "The symmetric multiple prize all-pay auction with complete information," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 627-644, November.
    6. Baye, M.R. & Kovenock, D. & De Vries, C.G., 1992. "Rigging the Lobbying Process: An Application of the All- Pay Auction," Papers 9-92-2, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
    7. Jerry R. Green & Nancy L. Stokey, 1982. "A Comparison of Tournaments and Contracts," NBER Working Papers 0840, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Che, Yeon-Koo & Gale, Ian L, 1998. "Caps on Political Lobbying," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 643-51, June.
    9. Ellingsen, Tore, 1991. "Strategic Buyers and the Social Cost of Monopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 648-57, June.
    10. Rene Kirkegaard, 2008. "Favoritism in Contests: Head Starts and Handicaps," Working Papers 0805, Brock University, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2008.
    11. Dubey, Pradeep & Geanakoplos, John, 2010. "Grading exams: 100,99,98,... or A,B,C?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 72-94, May.
    12. Kirkegaard, René, 2012. "Favoritism in asymmetric contests: Head starts and handicaps," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 226-248.
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    Cited by:
    1. Dubey, Pradeep, 2013. "The role of information in contests," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(2), pages 160-163.

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