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Contest functions: Theoretical foundations and issues in estimation

  • Jia, Hao
  • Skaperdas, Stergios
  • Vaidya, Samarth

Contest functions (alternatively, contest success functions) determine probabilities of winning and losing as a function of contestants' effort. They are used widely in many areas of economics that employ contest games, from tournaments and rent-seeking to conflict and sports. We first examine the theoretical foundations of contest functions and classify them into four types of derivation: stochastic, axiomatic, optimally-derived, and microfounded. The additive form (which includes the ratio or “Tullock” functional form) can be derived in all four different ways. We also explore issues in the econometric estimation of contest functions, including concerns with data, endogeneity, and model comparison.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Industrial Organization.

Volume (Year): 31 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 211-222

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Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:31:y:2013:i:3:p:211-222
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505551

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