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The Optimal Rewards in Contests

Author

Listed:
  • Chen Cohen

    (BGU)

  • Todd R. Kaplan

    (University of Exeter, UK.)

  • Aner Sela

    (BGU)

Abstract

We study all-pay contests under incomplete information where the reward is a func- tion of the contestant's type and also of his effort. We analyze the optimal reward for the designer when the reward is either multiplicatively separable or additively separable in effort and type. In the multiplicatively separable environment the optimal reward is always positive while in the additively separable environment it may also be negative. In both environments, depending on the designer's utility, the optimal reward may either increase or decrease in the contestants' effort. Finally, in both environments, the designer's payoff depends only upon the expected value of the effort-dependent rewards and not the number of rewards.

Suggested Citation

  • Chen Cohen & Todd R. Kaplan & Aner Sela, 2005. "The Optimal Rewards in Contests," Working Papers 0501, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bgu:wpaper:0501
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kaplan, Todd R. & Luski, Israel & Wettstein, David, 2003. "Innovative activity and sunk cost," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(8), pages 1111-1133, October.
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    3. Benny Moldovanu & Aner Sela, 2001. "The Optimal Allocation of Prizes in Contests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 542-558, June.
    4. Kaplan, Todd, et al, 2002. "All-Pay Auctions with Variable Rewards," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(4), pages 417-430, December.
    5. Che, Yeon-Koo & Gale, Ian L, 1998. "Caps on Political Lobbying," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 643-651, June.
    6. Barut, Yasar & Kovenock, Dan, 1998. "The symmetric multiple prize all-pay auction with complete information," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 627-644, November.
    7. Richard L. Fullerton & R. Preston McAfee, 1999. "Auctioning Entry into Tournaments," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 573-605, June.
    8. Taylor, Curtis R, 1995. "Digging for Golden Carrots: An Analysis of Research Tournaments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 872-890, September.
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Contests; All-Pay Auctions; Optimal Design.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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