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Innovation Contests

  • David Pérez-Castrillo
  • David Wettstein

We study innovation contests with asymmetric information and identical contestants, where contestants' efforts and innate abilities generate inventions of varying qualities. The designer offers a reward to the contestant achieving the highest quality and receives the revenue generated by the innovation. We characterize the equilibrium behavior, outcomes and payoffs for both nondiscriminatory and discriminatory (where the reward is contestant-dependent) contests. We derive conditions under which the designer obtains a larger payoff when using a discriminatory contest and describe settings where these conditions are satisfied.

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Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 654.

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Date of creation: Aug 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:654
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  1. Kirkegaard, René, 2012. "Favoritism in asymmetric contests: Head starts and handicaps," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 226-248.
  2. Kovenock, D. & de Vries, C.G., 1995. "The All-Pay Auction with Complete Information," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 311.95, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  3. Kaplan, T.R. & Luski, I. & Wettstein, D., 2000. "Innovative Activity and Sunk Cost," Papers 2000-6, Tel Aviv.
  4. Vijay Krishna & John Morgan, 1994. "An Analysis of the War of Attrition and the All-Pay Auction," Game Theory and Information 9409002, EconWPA.
  5. Stefan Jönsson & Armin Schmutzler, 2013. "All-pay auctions: Implementation and optimality," ECON - Working Papers 108, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
  6. Taylor, Curtis R, 1995. "Digging for Golden Carrots: An Analysis of Research Tournaments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 872-90, September.
  7. Konrad, Kai A., 2001. "Investment in the absence of property rights: the role of incumbency advantages
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    ," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance FS IV 01-18, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  8. Kirkegaard, René, 2013. "Handicaps in incomplete information all-pay auctions with a diverse set of bidders," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 98-110.
  9. Baye, M.R. & Kovenock, D. & De Vries, C.G., 1991. "Rigging The Lobbying Process: An Application Of The All- Pay Auction," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1002, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  10. Moldovanu, Benny & Sela, Aner, 1999. "The Optimal Allocation of Prizes in Contests," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 99-75, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  11. Konrad, Kai A., 2009. "Strategy and Dynamics in Contests," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199549603, July.
  12. Ron Siegel, 2010. "Asymmetric Contests with Conditional Investments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2230-60, December.
  13. Amann, Erwin & Leininger, Wolfgang, 1996. "Asymmetric All-Pay Auctions with Incomplete Information: The Two-Player Case," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 1-18, May.
  14. Nirvikar Singh & Donald Wittman, 2001. "Contests where there is variation in the marginal productivity of effort," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 711-744.
  15. Steven D. Levitt, 1995. "Optimal Incentive Schemes When Only the Agents' "Best" Output Matters to the Principal," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(4), pages 744-760, Winter.
  16. Newell, Richard & Wilson, Nathan, 2005. "Technology Prizes for Climate Change Mitigation," Discussion Papers dp-05-33, Resources For the Future.
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