IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Optimal punishment in contests with endogenous entry

  • Thomas, Jonathan P.
  • Wang, Zhewei

We study optimal punishment in an all-pay contest with endogenous entry, where the participant with the lowest performance may be punished. When a small punishment is introduced, the lowest ability players drop out and those of medium ability exert less effort, while only the highest ability players exert more effort. A sufficient condition is given for the optimal punishment to be zero if the objective is to maximize the expected total effort. As cost functions become more convex, punishment becomes less desirable. When the objective is to maximize the expected highest individual effort, a positive punishment is desirable under much weaker conditions.

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.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

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.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 91 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 34-50

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:91:y:2013:i:c:p:34-50
DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2013.02.007
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Qiang Fu & Qian Jiao & Jingfeng Lu, 2011. "On disclosure policy in contests with stochastic entry," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 148(3), pages 419-434, September.
  2. John Morgan & Henrik Orzen & Martin Sefton, 2008. "Endogenous Entry in Contests," Discussion Papers 2008-08, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  3. Moldovanu, Benny & Sela, Aner & Shi, Xianwen, 2008. "Carrots and Sticks: Prizes and Punishments in Contests," CEPR Discussion Papers 6770, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Riley, John G & Samuelson, William F, 1981. "Optimal Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 381-92, June.
  5. Qiang Fu & Jingfeng Lu, 2010. "Contest Design And Optimal Endogenous Entry," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(1), pages 80-88, 01.
  6. Cason, Timothy N. & Masters, William A. & Sheremeta, Roman M., 2010. "Entry into winner-take-all and proportional-prize contests: An experimental study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(9-10), pages 604-611, October.
  7. Moldovanu, Benny & Sela, Aner, 1999. "The Optimal Allocation of Prizes in Contests," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 99-75, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  8. Barry J. Nalebuff & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1983. "Prices and Incentives: Towards a General Theory of Compensation and Competition," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(1), pages 21-43, Spring.
  9. Lim, Wooyoung & Matros, Alexander, 2009. "Contests with a stochastic number of players," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 584-597, November.
  10. Kaplan, Todd R. & Sela, Aner, 2010. "Effective contests," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 106(1), pages 38-41, January.
  11. 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.
  12. Robert Akerlof & Richard Holden, 2012. "The nature of tournaments," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 51(2), pages 289-313, October.
  13. Scott M Gilpatric, 2009. "Risk Taking In Contests And The Role Of Carrots And Sticks," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 47(2), pages 266-277, 04.
  14. Taylor, Curtis R, 1995. "Digging for Golden Carrots: An Analysis of Research Tournaments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 872-90, September.
  15. Maskin, Eric S & Riley, John G, 1984. "Optimal Auctions with Risk Averse Buyers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(6), pages 1473-1518, November.
  16. Roger Myerson & Karl Wärneryd, 2006. "Population uncertainty in contests," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 27(2), pages 469-474, January.
  17. Steven D. Levitt, 1995. "Optimal Incentive Schemes When Only the Agents' "Best" Output Matters to the Principal," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(4), pages 744-760, Winter.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:91:y:2013:i:c:p:34-50. 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: (Shamier, Wendy)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.