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The economics of doping

  • Berentsen, Aleksander

This paper considers a strategic game in which two players, with unequal prospects of winning the game, decide simultaneously and secretly to use performance-enhancing drugs before they compete. In the mixed strategy equilibrium, the favorite player is more likely to take these drugs than is the underdog, yet, for some parameter values, he is less likely to win the game with doping opportunities than without. The paper then analyzes the anti-doping regulations adopted by the International Olympic Committee, comparing its rules with a ranking-based sanction scheme. Two results emerge from this comparison: First, while IOC regulations cannot satisfy participation and incentive compatibility constraints and implement the no-doping equilibrium in all circumstances, a more effective ranking-based sanction scheme with these properties exists. Second, ranking-based punishment schemes are less costly to implement than are IOC regulations because fewer tests are needed to attain the no-doping equilibrium.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 18 (2002)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 109-127

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Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:18:y:2002:i:1:p:109-127
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  1. Clark, Derek J. & Riis, Christian, 1998. "Influence and the discretionary allocation of several prizes," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 605-625, November.
  2. Bird, Edward J. & Wagner, Gert G., 1997. "Sport as a Common Property Resource: A Solution to the Dilemmas of Doping," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 749-766.
  3. Dixit, Avinash K, 1987. "Strategic Behavior in Contests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 891-98, December.
  4. Nitzan, Shmuel, 1994. "Modelling rent-seeking contests," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 41-60, May.
  5. Rosen, Sherwin, 1986. "Prizes and Incentives in Elimination Tournaments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 701-15, September.
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