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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. Jerry R. Green & Nancy L. Stokey, 1982. "A Comparison of Tournaments and Contracts," NBER Working Papers 0840, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. 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.
    3. Baye, M.R. & Kovenock, D. & De Vries, C.G., 1991. "Rigging The Lobbying Process: An Application Of The All- Pay Auction," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1002, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
    4. 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.
    5. Benny Moldovanu & Aner Sela, 2001. "The Optimal Allocation of Prizes in Contests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 542-558, June.
    6. 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.
    7. Ellingsen, Tore, 1991. "Strategic Buyers and the Social Cost of Monopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 648-57, June.
    8. Yeon-Koo Che & Ian Gale, 1998. "Caps on Political Lobbying," Microeconomics 9809003, EconWPA.
    9. Arye L. Hillman & John G. Riley, 1989. "Politically Contestable Rents And Transfers," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(1), pages 17-39, 03.
    10. Rene Kirkegaard, 2008. "Favoritism in Contests: Head Starts and Handicaps," Working Papers 0805, Brock University, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2008.
    11. Kirkegaard, René, 2012. "Favoritism in asymmetric contests: Head starts and handicaps," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 226-248.
    12. Sherwin Rosen, 1985. "Prizes and Incentives in Elimination Tournaments," NBER Working Papers 1668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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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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