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Imitative Learning in Tullock Contests: Does Overdissipation Prevail in the Long Run?


  • Hiroyuki Sano


This paper investigates a long-run equilibrium of the Tullock contest using an evolutionary game-theoretic approach. The finite-population evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS) yields overdissipation of rent when there are increasing returns to expenditure. However, imitative behavior, considered to be a source of the evolutionary dynamics behind the ESS, is implausible because individual rationality is not always satisfied. In this paper, we attempt to specify such implicit imitative behavior and construct explicit evolutionary dynamics. Under our plausible imitation rule, we show that full dissipation may prevail in the long run as long as there are increasing returns.

Suggested Citation

  • Hiroyuki Sano, 2009. "Imitative Learning in Tullock Contests: Does Overdissipation Prevail in the Long Run?," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 165(3), pages 365-383, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(200909)165:3_365:ilitcd_2.0.tx_2-t

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Baye, Michael R & Kovenock, Dan & de Vries, Casper G, 1994. "The Solution to the Tullock Rent-Seeking Game When R Is Greater Than 2: Mixed-Strategy Equilibria and Mean Dissipation Rates," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 81(3-4), pages 363-380, December.
    2. Hehenkamp, B. & Leininger, W. & Possajennikov, A., 2004. "Evolutionary equilibrium in Tullock contests: spite and overdissipation," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 1045-1057, November.
    3. Carlos Alós-Ferrer & Ana Ania, 2005. "The evolutionary stability of perfectly competitive behavior," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 26(3), pages 497-516, October.
    4. William Corcoran, 1984. "Long-run equilibrium and total expenditures in rent-seeking," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 89-94, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hiroyuki Sano, 2014. "Reciprocal rent-seeking contests," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 42(3), pages 575-596, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games


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