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Persuasion as a contest

  • Stergios Skaperdas


  • Samarth Vaidya


We examine how the probability of persuading an audience depends on resources expended by contending parties as well as on other factors. We use a Bayesian approach whereby the audience makes inferences solely based on the evidence produced by the contestants. We find conditions that yield the well-known additive contest success function, including the logit function. We also find conditions that produce a generalized “difference” functional form. In all cases, there are three main determinants of audience choice: (i) the truth and other objective parameters of the environment; (ii) the biases of the audience, and (iii) the resources expended by the interested parties. Copyright The Author(s) 2012

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 51 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Pages: 465-486

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Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:51:y:2012:i:2:p:465-486
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