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Optimal Favoritism in All-Pay Auctions and Lottery Contests

Author

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  • Jörg Franke
  • Wolfgang Leininger
  • Cédric Wasser

Abstract

We analyze the revenue-enhancing potential of favoring specific contestants in complete information all-pay auctions and lottery contests with several heterogeneous contestants. Two instruments of favoritism are considered: Head starts that are added to the bids of specific contestants and multiplicative biases that give idiosyncratic weights to the bids. In the all-pay auction, head starts are more effective than biases while optimally combining both instruments even yields first-best revenue. In the lottery contest, head starts are less effective than biases and combining both instruments cannot further increase revenue. As all-pay auctions revenue-dominate lottery contests under optimal biases, we thus obtain an unambiguous revenue-ranking of all six combinations of contest formats and instruments.

Suggested Citation

  • Jörg Franke & Wolfgang Leininger & Cédric Wasser, 2016. "Optimal Favoritism in All-Pay Auctions and Lottery Contests," CESifo Working Paper Series 6274, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_6274
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Franke, Jörg & Leininger, Wolfgang & Wasser, Cédric, 2018. "Optimal favoritism in all-pay auctions and lottery contests," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 22-37.
    2. Matthias Dahm, 2017. "All-Pay Auctions with Extra Prize: A Partial Exclusion Principle," Discussion Papers 2017-01, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    all-pay auction; lottery contest; favoritism; head start; revenue dominance;

    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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