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Contests with size effects

  • Eggert, Wolfgang
  • Kolmar, Martin

In this paper we analyze the structure of contest equilibria with a variable number of individuals. First we analyze a situation where the total prize depends on the number of agents and where every single agent faces opportunity costs of investing in the contest. Second we analyze a situation where the agents face a trade-off between productive and appropriative investments. Here, the number of agents may also influence the productivity of productive investments. It turns out that both types of contests may lead to opposing results concerning the optimal number of individuals depending on the strength of size effects. Whereas in the former case individual utility is u-shaped when the number of agents increases, the opposite holds true for the latter case. We discuss the implications of our findings for the case of anarchic societies and competition on markets.

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

Volume (Year): 22 (2006)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 989-1008

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Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:22:y:2006:i:4:p:989-1008
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505544

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  1. Herschel I. Grossman, 2001. "The Creation of Effective Property Rights," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 347-352, May.
  2. Herschel I. Grossman, 1997. ""Make Us a King": Anarchy, Predation, and the State," NBER Working Papers 6289, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  4. Schmalensee, Richard, 1976. "A Model of Promotional Competition in Oligopoly," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(3), pages 493-507, October.
  5. Cornes, Richard & Hartley, Roger, 2003. " Risk Aversion, Heterogeneity and Contests," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 117(1-2), pages 1-25, October.
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  7. Noh, Suk Jae, 2002. "Resource distribution and stable alliances with endogenous sharing rules," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 129-151, March.
  8. Arye Hillman & Dov Samet, 1987. "Dissipation of contestable rents by small numbers of contenders," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 54(1), pages 63-82, January.
  9. Bush, Winston C. & Mayer, Lawrence S., 1974. "Some implications of anarchy for the distribution of property," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 401-412, August.
  10. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1995. "Anarchy and Its Breakdown," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 26-52, February.
  11. Grossman, Herschel I., 1995. "Robin hood and the redistribution of property income," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 399-410, September.
  12. Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka, 1995. "Population Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262181606, June.
  13. Grossman, Herschel I & Kim, Minseong, 1995. "Swords or Plowshares? A Theory of the Security of Claims to Property," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1275-88, December.
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