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The Contest Winner: Gifted or Venturesome?

Author

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  • Marco Sahm

Abstract

This paper examines the chance of winning a Tullock-contest when participants differ in both their talent and their attitude towards risk. For the case of CARA preferences, it is shown that the winning probability may be higher for a low-skilled agent with a low degree of risk aversion than for a high-skilled agent with a high degree of risk-aversion. Such an outcome often is undesirable. It will occur if and only if the agents’ ratio of degrees of risk aversion is larger than their ratio of skill levels and the rent of the contest is sufficiently high.

Suggested Citation

  • Marco Sahm, 2010. "The Contest Winner: Gifted or Venturesome?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3285, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3285
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp3285.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hans K. Hvide, 2002. "Tournament Rewards and Risk Taking," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 877-898, October.
    2. Marco Runkel, 2006. "Optimal contest design, closeness and the contest success function," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 129(1), pages 217-231, October.
    3. Fabella, Raul V., 1992. "A note on the Tullock dissipation rate," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 245-249, October.
    4. Hvide, Hans K. & Kristiansen, Eirik G., 2003. "Risk taking in selection contests," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 172-179, January.
    5. James W. Bono, 2008. "Sales contests, promotion decisions and heterogeneous risk," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(4), pages 371-382.
    6. Runkel, Marco, 2006. "Total effort, competitive balance and the optimal contest success function," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 1009-1013, December.
    7. Takeshi Yamazaki, 2008. "On the Existence and Uniqueness of Pure-Strategy Nash Equilibrium in Asymmetric Rent-Seeking Contests," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 10(2), pages 317-327, April.
    8. Skaperdas, Stergios & Gan, Li, 1995. "Risk Aversion in Contests," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(431), pages 951-962, July.
    9. Cornes, Richard & Hartley, Roger, 2003. "Risk Aversion, Heterogeneity and Contests," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 117(1-2), pages 1-25, October.
    10. Long, Ngo Van & Vousden, Neil J, 1987. "Risk-Averse Rent Seeking with Shared Rents," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(388), pages 971-985, December.
    11. Konrad, Kai A & Schlesinger, Harris, 1997. "Risk Aversion in Rent-Seeking and Rent-Augmenting Games," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1671-1683, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. March, Christoph & Sahm, Marco, 2017. "Asymmetric discouragement in asymmetric contests," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 151(C), pages 23-27.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    selection contest; asymmetric players; risk aversion;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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