Contests where there is variation in the marginal productivity of effort
We provide a characterization of participants' behavior in a contest or tournament where the marginal productivity of effort varies across contestants and individual productivity is private information. We then consider the optimal design of such a contest. We first analyze contestant behavior for the usual type of contest, where the highest output wins. Abilities need not be independently distributed. We demonstrate that there is a unique symmetric equilibrium output function, that output is increasing in ability, and that marginal effort is increasing in ability, while effort decreases when the cost of effort increases. Next we consider the case where the highest output need not win, with independently distributed abilities. We analyze the contest designer's decisions in choosing contest rules optimal from her perspective. We show that the output produced, probability of winning, and contest designer's expected revenue are generally increasing in contestants' ability. We examine the relationship between the marginal cost of producing output and marginal utility per dollar of the net award for winning.
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.
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.
Volume (Year): 18 (2001)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
|Note:||Received: July 30, 1998; revised version: August 7, 2000|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://link.springer.de/link/service/journals/00199/index.htm|
|Order Information:||Web: http://link.springer.de/orders.htm|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:18:y:2001:i:3:p:711-744. 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: (Guenther Eichhorn)or (Christopher F Baum)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.