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Contest design and optimal endogenous entry

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  • Fu, Qiang
  • Lu, Jingfeng

Abstract

This paper derives the effort-maximizing contest rule and the optimal endogenous entry in a context where potential participants bear fixed entry costs. The organizer is allowed to design the contest under a fixed budget with two strategic instruments: he sets the value of the prize purse, and arranges a monetary transfer (entry subsidy or fee) for each participating contestant. In other words, the budget can either be used to subsidize participation or an entry fee can be charged to fund the prize purse. The results show that the optimally designed contest attracts exactly two participating contestants in its unique subgame perfect equilibrium (when there is a positive fixed entry cost) and extracts all the surplus from participating contestants. The study also shows that the direction and amount of the monetary transfer depend on the magnitude of the entry cost: the contest organizer subsidizes entry when contestants bear substantial entry costs, but charges an entry fee to fund the prize purse whenever the entry cost is sufficiently low.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 945.

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Date of creation: Nov 2006
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:945

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Keywords: Contest; Endogenous Entry; Entry Cost; Subsidy; Entry Fee;

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References

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  1. Gradstein, Mark & Konrad, Kai A, 1999. "Orchestrating Rent Seeking Contests," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(458), pages 536-45, October.
  2. 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.
  3. Frank R. Lichtenberg, 1988. "Government Subsidies to Private Military R&D Investment: DOD's IR&D Policy," NBER Working Papers 2745, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Baye, Michael R. & Hoppe, Heidrun C., 2003. "The strategic equivalence of rent-seeking, innovation, and patent-race games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 217-226, August.
  5. Sherwin Rosen, 1985. "Prizes and Incentives in Elimination Tournaments," NBER Working Papers 1668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Richard L. Fullerton & R. Preston McAfee, 1999. "Auctioning Entry into Tournaments," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 573-605, June.
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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. Thomas, Jonathan P. & Wang, Zhewei, 2013. "Optimal punishment in contests with endogenous entry," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 34-50.
  3. Fu, Qiang & Lu, Jingfeng & Lu, Yuanzhu, 2012. "Incentivizing R&D: Prize or subsidies?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 67-79.

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