The beauty of "bigness": On optimal design of multi-winner contests
This paper examines the variation in total effort expended by participants when prizes are awarded in a grand contest as opposed to a number of subcontests. When contestants are homogeneous, under a mild and plausible condition (regular contest technology), a grand contest generates more effort than any set of subcontests. When no restrictions are placed on the contest technology, the results further demonstrate an "increasing-return-to-scale" property such that each individual responds to a proportional increase in the number of contestants and the number of each prize by increasing individual effort. Therefore, when a collection of identical subcontests forms a grand contest, the total effort always increases and the grand contest leads to a higher rent-dissipation rate. Our results apply to a wide variety of competitive activities, such as high-profile sports (e.g., diving and gymnastics in the Olympic Games), the internal labor market and the "quota" system for public resource allocation.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:66:y:2009:i:1:p:146-161. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.