IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/spr/epolit/v36y2019i3d10.1007_s40888-017-0077-z.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Productive and unproductive competition: a unified framework

Author

Listed:
  • Alice Guerra

    (Copenhagen Business School)

  • Barbara Luppi

    (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia)

  • Francesco Parisi

    (University of Minnesota)

Abstract

Conventional theories of competition classify contests as being either “productive”, when the competitive efforts generate a surplus for society, or “unproductive”, when competition generates no social surplus and merely distributes already existing resources. These two discrete categories of competition create a division of real-world situations into analytical categories that fails to recognize the entire spectrum of competitive activities. Taking the existing models of productive and unproductive competition as benchmark idealizations, this paper revisits the relationship between the privately and socially optimal levels of competition in the full range of intermediate cases, as well as in the extremum cases of destructive and super-productive competition.

Suggested Citation

  • Alice Guerra & Barbara Luppi & Francesco Parisi, 2019. "Productive and unproductive competition: a unified framework," Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, Springer;Fondazione Edison, vol. 36(3), pages 785-804, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:epolit:v:36:y:2019:i:3:d:10.1007_s40888-017-0077-z
    DOI: 10.1007/s40888-017-0077-z
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s40888-017-0077-z
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1007/s40888-017-0077-z?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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 841-864, October.
    2. Benny Moldovanu & Aner Sela, 2001. "The Optimal Allocation of Prizes in Contests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 542-558, June.
    3. Chung, Tai-Yeong, 1996. "Rent-Seeking Contest When the Prize Increases with Aggregate Efforts," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 87(1-2), pages 55-66, April.
    4. Subhasish Chowdhury & Roman Sheremeta, 2011. "A generalized Tullock contest," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 147(3), pages 413-420, June.
    5. Konrad, Kai A., 2009. "Strategy and Dynamics in Contests," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199549603.
    6. Arye L. Hillman & John G. Riley, 1989. "Politically Contestable Rents And Transfers," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(1), pages 17-39, March.
    7. Birendra Rai & Rajiv Sarin, 2009. "Generalized contest success functions," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 40(1), pages 139-149, July.
    8. Cowling, Keith & Mueller, Dennis C, 1978. "The Social Costs of Monopoly Power," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 88(352), pages 727-748, December.
    9. Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci & Eric Langlais & Bruno Lovat & Francesco Parisi, 2007. "Crowding-out in productive and redistributive rent-seeking," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 133(1), pages 199-229, October.
    10. Michael Baye & Dan Kovenock & Casper Vries, 2012. "Contests with rank-order spillovers," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 51(2), pages 315-350, October.
    11. Hartwick, John M., 1991. "Patent races optimal with respect to entry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 197-207, June.
    12. Littlechild, S C, 1981. "Misleading Calculations of the Social Costs of Monopoly Power," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(362), pages 348-363, June.
    13. Bhagwati, Jagdish N, 1982. "Directly Unproductive, Profit-seeking (DUP) Activities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 988-1002, October.
    14. Nti, Kofi O, 1997. "Comparative Statics of Contests and Rent-Seeking Games," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(1), pages 43-59, February.
    15. Buchanan, James M, 1983. "Rent Seeking, Noncompensated Transfers, and Laws of Succession," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(1), pages 71-85, April.
    16. Krueger, Anne O, 1974. "The Political Economy of the Rent-Seeking Society," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(3), pages 291-303, June.
    17. Demsetz, Harold, 1973. "Industry Structure, Market Rivalry, and Public Policy," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 1-9, April.
    18. Congleton, Roger D., 1989. "Efficient status seeking: Externalities, and the evolution of status games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 175-190, March.
    19. Paul, Chris & Wilhite, Allen W, 1994. "Illegal Markets and the Social Costs of Rent-Seeking," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 79(1-2), pages 105-115, April.
    20. Dan Kovenock & Michael R. Baye & Casper G. de Vries, 1996. "The all-pay auction with complete information (*)," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 8(2), pages 291-305.
    21. Avinash Dixit & Victor Norman, 1978. "Advertising and Welfare," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(1), pages 1-17, Spring.
    22. Partha Dasgupta & Joseph Stiglitz, 1980. "Uncertainty, Industrial Structure, and the Speed of R&D," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(1), pages 1-28, Spring.
    23. Nti, Kofi O, 1999. "Rent-Seeking with Asymmetric Valuations," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(3-4), pages 415-430, March.
    24. Yann Ménière & Sarah Parlane, 2008. "Innovation in the Shadow of Patent Litigation," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 32(2), pages 95-111, March.
    25. Skaperdas, Stergios & Grofman, Bernard, 1995. "Modeling Negative Campaigning," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 89(1), pages 49-61, March.
    26. Demsetz, Harold, 1976. "Economics as a Guide to Antitrust Regulation," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 371-384, August.
    27. Chowdhury, Subhasish M. & Sheremeta, Roman M., 2011. "Multiple equilibria in Tullock contests," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 112(2), pages 216-219, August.
    28. Crain, William Mark & Ekelund, Robert B, Jr, 1976. "Chadwick and Demsetz on Competition and Regulation," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 149-162, April.
    29. Denicolo, Vincenzo, 1999. "The optimal life of a patent when the timing of innovation is stochastic," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 827-846, August.
    30. Emmanuel Dechenaux & Dan Kovenock & Roman Sheremeta, 2015. "A survey of experimental research on contests, all-pay auctions and tournaments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(4), pages 609-669, December.
    31. Dasgupta, Ani & Nti, Kofi O., 1998. "Designing an optimal contest," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 587-603, November.
    32. Roger Congleton, 1986. "Rent-seeking aspects of political advertising," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 49(3), pages 249-263, January.
    33. Lee, Sanghack & Hyeong Kang, J., 1998. "Collective contests with externalities," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 727-738, November.
    34. Arye Hillman & Dov Samet, 1987. "Dissipation of contestable rents by small numbers of contenders," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 54(1), pages 63-82, January.
    35. Michael Fung, 2002. "Technological Opportunity and Economies of Scale in Research Productivity: A Study on Three Global Industries," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 21(4), pages 419-436, December.
    36. Roger D. Congleton & Arye L. Hillman (ed.), 2015. "Companion to the Political Economy of Rent Seeking," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 15325.
    37. Gilbert, Richard J. & Katz, Michael L., 2011. "Efficient division of profits from complementary innovations," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 443-454, July.
    38. Krishna, Vijay & Morgan, John, 1997. "An Analysis of the War of Attrition and the All-Pay Auction," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 343-362, February.
    39. Nitzan, Shmuel, 1991. "Collective Rent Dissipation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(409), pages 1522-1534, November.
    40. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1971. "The Private and Social Value of Information and the Reward to Inventive Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(4), pages 561-574, September.
    41. Blavatskyy, Pavlo R., 2010. "Contest success function with the possibility of a draw: Axiomatization," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 267-276, March.
    42. Gupta, Sanjay & Swenson, Charles W, 2003. "Rent Seeking by Agents of the Firm," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(1), pages 253-268, April.
    43. Dixit, Avinash K, 1987. "Strategic Behavior in Contests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 891-898, December.
    44. Nitzan, Shmuel, 1994. "Modelling rent-seeking contests," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 41-60, May.
    45. Baye, Michael R. & Hoppe, Heidrun C., 2003. "The strategic equivalence of rent-seeking, innovation, and patent-race games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 217-226, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Parisi Francesco, 2020. "Law and Economics as We Grow Younger," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 16(1), pages 1-20, March.
    2. Peter-J. Jost, 2021. "Endogenous formation of entrepreneurial networks," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 56(1), pages 39-64, January.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Emmanuel Dechenaux & Dan Kovenock & Roman Sheremeta, 2015. "A survey of experimental research on contests, all-pay auctions and tournaments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(4), pages 609-669, December.
    2. Konrad, Kai A., 2007. "Strategy in contests: an introduction [Strategie in Turnieren – eine Einführung]," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance SP II 2007-01, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
    3. Subhasish Chowdhury & Roman Sheremeta, 2015. "Strategically equivalent contests," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 78(4), pages 587-601, April.
    4. Jia, Hao & Skaperdas, Stergios & Vaidya, Samarth, 2013. "Contest functions: Theoretical foundations and issues in estimation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 211-222.
    5. Alcalde, José & Dahm, Matthias, 2010. "Rent seeking and rent dissipation: A neutrality result," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 1-7, February.
    6. Ewerhart, Christian, 2017. "Contests with small noise and the robustness of the all-pay auction," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 195-211.
    7. Arye L. Hillman & Heinrich W. Ursprung, 2016. "Where are the rent seekers?," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 124-141, June.
    8. Helmut Dietl & Egon Franck & Martin Grossmann & Markus Lang, 2009. "Contest Theory and its Applications in Sports," Working Papers 0029, University of Zurich, Center for Research in Sports Administration (CRSA).
    9. Cason, Timothy N. & Masters, William A. & Sheremeta, Roman M., 2020. "Winner-take-all and proportional-prize contests: Theory and experimental results," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 175(C), pages 314-327.
    10. Einav Hart & Judith Avrahami & Yaakov Kareev, 2016. "Enlarging the market yet decreasing the profit: An experimental study of competitive behavior when investment affects the prize," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 11(4), pages 380-390, July.
    11. Ella Segev & Aner Sela, 2011. "Sequential All-Pay Auctions with Head Starts and Noisy Outputs," Working Papers 1106, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
    12. Markus LANG & Alexander RATHKE & Marco RUNKEL, 2010. "The Economic Consequences Of Foreigner Rules In National Sports Leagues," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 31, pages 47-64.
    13. Kyung Hwan Baik & Jong Hwa Lee, 2013. "Endogenous Timing In Contests With Delegation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(4), pages 2044-2055, October.
    14. Sakshi Gupta & Ram Singh, 2018. "On Existence and Properties of Pure-strategy Equilibria under Contests," Working Papers id:12840, eSocialSciences.
    15. Subhasish Chowdhury & Oliver Gürtler, 2015. "Sabotage in contests: a survey," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 164(1), pages 135-155, July.
    16. Todd R. Kaplan & Shmuel Zamir, 2014. "Advances in Auctions," Discussion Papers 1405, University of Exeter, Department of Economics.
    17. Beviá, Carmen & Corchón, Luis C., 2013. "Endogenous strength in conflicts," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 297-306.
    18. Hanley Nick & MacKenzie Ian A, 2010. "The Effects of Rent Seeking over Tradable Pollution Permits," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-26, July.
    19. Llorente-Saguer, Aniol & Sheremeta, Roman & Szech, Nora, 2016. "Designing Contests Between Heterogeneous Contestants: An Experimental Study of Tie-Breaks and Bid-Caps in All-Pay Auctions," MPRA Paper 71202, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Matthew D. Mitchell, 2019. "Uncontestable favoritism," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 181(1), pages 167-190, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Contests; Rent seeking; Unproductive competition; Productive competition; Patent races;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:epolit:v:36:y:2019:i:3:d:10.1007_s40888-017-0077-z. 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: . General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Sonal Shukla or Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.