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A General Framework for Studying Contests

Author

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  • Spencer Bastani

    (Department of Economics and Statistics, School of Business and Economics, Linnaeus University,Sweden)

  • Thomas Giebe

    (Department of Economics and Statistics, School of Business and Economics, Linnaeus University,Sweden)

  • Oliver Gürtler

    (Department of Economics, University of Cologne, Germany)

Abstract

We develop a general framework for studying contests, including the well-known models of Tullock(1980) and Lazear & Rosen (1981) as special cases. The contest outcome depends on players’ efforts and skills, the latter being subject to symmetric uncertainty. The model is tractable, because asymmetric equilibrium exists under general assumptions regarding production technologies and skill distributions. Using a link between our contest model and expected utility theory, we are able to derive new comparative statics results regarding how the size and composition of contests affect equilibrium effort, showing how standard results can be overturned. We also discuss the robustness ofour results to changes in the information structure and the implications of our findings for the optimal design of teams.

Suggested Citation

  • Spencer Bastani & Thomas Giebe & Oliver Gürtler, 2020. "A General Framework for Studying Contests," ECONtribute Discussion Papers Series 005, University of Bonn and University of Cologne, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:ajk:ajkdps:005
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    Cited by:

    1. Subhasish M. Chowdhury & Patricia Esteve‐González & Anwesha Mukherjee, 2023. "Heterogeneity, leveling the playing field, and affirmative action in contests," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 89(3), pages 924-974, January.
    2. Mikhail Drugov & Dmitry Ryvkin, 2020. "Hunting for the discouragement effect in contests," Working Papers w0278, New Economic School (NES).
    3. René Kirkegaard, 2020. "Microfounded Contest Design," Working Papers 2003, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
    4. Hanming Fang & Ming Li & Zenan Wu, 2022. "Tournament-Style Political Competition and Local Protectionism: Theory and Evidence from China," PIER Working Paper Archive 22-031, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    contest theory; symmetric equilibrium; heterogeneity; risk; stochastic dominance;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • M51 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Firm Employment Decisions; Promotions

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