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Multi-Item Contests

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  • Alex Robson

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Abstract

Contests are games in which the players compete for a valuable prize by exerting effort or using resources so as to increase their probability of winning. This paper examines two player multi-item contests, a class of games in which players are faced with a decision about how much of a given resource to devote to an entire collection or sequence of different contests. Applications include multi-item rent-seeking behavior, multi-good marketing and advertising, multi-jurisdictional political contests. In these games, even when the (uncertain) outcomes in each contest are assumed to be mutually statistically independent, equilibrium efforts can exhibit strong interdependencies. Changes in either the contest success function or value of the prize in one contest usually alter the equilibrium amount of resources devoted to all contests by both players. We unify and extend results from marketing and political science, and also derive conditions under which both players exert zero effort in equilibrium in some subset of contests.

Suggested Citation

  • Alex Robson, 2005. "Multi-Item Contests," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2005-446, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:acb:cbeeco:2005-446
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    File URL: https://www.cbe.anu.edu.au/researchpapers/econ/wp446.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. George E. Monahan, 1987. "The Structure of Equilibria in Market Share Attraction Models," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 33(2), pages 228-243, February.
    2. Skaperdas, Stergios & Syropoulos, Constantinos, 1998. "Complementarity in contests," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 667-684, November.
    3. repec:cup:apsrev:v:69:y:1975:i:01:p:141-154_24 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Stergios Skaperdas, 1996. "Contest success functions (*)," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 7(2), pages 283-290.
    5. Snyder, James M, 1989. "Election Goals and the Allocation of Campaign Resources," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 637-660, May.
    6. 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.
    7. Dixit, Avinash K, 1987. "Strategic Behavior in Contests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 891-898, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Erez, Eyal & Sela, Aner, 2010. "Round-Robin Tournaments with Effort Constraints," CEPR Discussion Papers 8021, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Dan Kovenock & Brian Roberson, 2009. "Is the 50-State Strategy Optimal?," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 21(2), pages 213-236, April.
    3. Osorio, Antonio, 2013. "The lottery Blotto game," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(2), pages 164-166.
    4. 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, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    5. Dan Kovenock & Brian Roberson, 2015. "Generalizations of the General Lotto and Colonel Blotto Games," Working Papers 15-07, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    6. Subhasish M. Chowdhury & Dan Kovenock & David Rojo Arjona & Nathaniel T. Wilcox, 2016. "Focality and asymmetry in multi-battle contests," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 16-12, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    7. Subhasish Chowdhury & Dan Kovenock & Roman Sheremeta, 2013. "An experimental investigation of Colonel Blotto games," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 52(3), pages 833-861, April.
    8. Dan Kovenock & Sudipta Sarangi & Matt Wiser, 2015. "All-pay 2 $$\times $$ × 2 Hex: a multibattle contest with complementarities," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 44(3), pages 571-597, August.
    9. Aner Sela & Reut Megidish, 2012. "Sequential Contests With Synergy And Budget Constraints," Working Papers 1212, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
    10. Megidish, Reut & Sela, Aner, 2011. "Sequential Contests with Synergy and Budget Constraints," CEPR Discussion Papers 8383, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. repec:wsi:igtrxx:v:14:y:2012:i:02:n:s0219198912500119 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:pit:wpaper:509 is not listed on IDEAS

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