Bidding in hierarchies
This paper reconsiders the comparison between hierarchical contests and single-stage contests. A condition is given that characterizes whether and when the aggregate equilibrium payoff of contestants is higher in the single-stage contest, and when the single-stage contest is more likely to award the prize to the contestant who values it most highly. The outcome depends on inter- and intra-group heterogeneity, and is not driven by free-rider incentives.
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