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Risk Aversion and Prudence in Contests

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  • Marco Sahm

Abstract

I examine the impact of risk preferences on efforts and winning probabilities in generalised Tullock contests between two players. The theoretical analysis yields two main results. First, I specify a sufficient condition on the agents’ comparative prudence under which a higher common level of risk aversion leads to lower aggregate effort in symmetric contests. Second, I show that for a certain range of parameters in asymmetric contests, higher risk-aversion will be a disadvantage if the agent is comparatively prudent.

Suggested Citation

  • Marco Sahm, 2017. "Risk Aversion and Prudence in Contests," CESifo Working Paper Series 6417, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_6417
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    File URL: https://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp6417.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Richard Cornes & Roger Hartley, 2012. "Risk aversion in symmetric and asymmetric contests," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 51(2), pages 247-275, October.
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    3. Charles N. Noussair & Stefan T. Trautmann & Gijs van de Kuilen, 2014. "Higher Order Risk Attitudes, Demographics, and Financial Decisions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(1), pages 325-355.
    4. Konrad, Kai A., 2009. "Strategy and Dynamics in Contests," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199549603.
    5. Roman M. Sheremeta, 2011. "Contest Design: An Experimental Investigation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 49(2), pages 573-590, April.
    6. Nicolas Treich, 2010. "Risk-aversion and prudence in rent-seeking games," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 145(3), pages 339-349, December.
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    12. Cornes, Richard & Hartley, Roger, 2003. "Risk Aversion, Heterogeneity and Contests," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 117(1-2), pages 1-25, October.
    13. Louis Eeckhoudt & Christian Gollier, 2005. "The impact of prudence on optimal prevention," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 26(4), pages 989-994, November.
    14. Millner, Edward L & Pratt, Michael D, 1991. "Risk Aversion and Rent-Seeking: An Extension and Some Experimental Evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 69(1), pages 81-92, February.
    15. 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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    17. Lisa Anderson & Beth Freeborn, 2010. "Erratum to: Varying the intensity of competition in a multiple prize rent seeking experiment," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 143(1), pages 255-256, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Hommes, Cars & Lustenhouwer, Joep, 2019. "Managing unanchored, heterogeneous expectations and liquidity traps," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 1-16.
    2. March, Christoph & Sahm, Marco, 2018. "Contests as selection mechanisms: The impact of risk aversion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 114-131.
    3. Hommes, Cars & Lustenhouwer, Joep & Mavromatis, Kostas, 2018. "Fiscal consolidations and heterogeneous expectations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 173-205.
    4. Arata, Yoshiyuki & Mundt, Philipp, 2019. "Topology and formation of production input interlinkages: Evidence from Japanese microdata," BERG Working Paper Series 152, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
    5. Sahm, Marco, 2017. "Are sequential round-robin tournaments discriminatory?," BERG Working Paper Series 121, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
    6. Proaño Acosta, Christian & Lojak, Benjamin, 2019. "Animal spirits, risk premia and monetary policy at the zero lower bound," BERG Working Paper Series 148, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
    7. Lustenhouwer, Joep & Mavromatis, Kostas, 2017. "Fiscal consolidations and finite planning horizons," BERG Working Paper Series 130, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
    8. Mundt, Philipp & Oh, Ilfan, 2019. "Asymmetric competition, risk, and return distribution," BERG Working Paper Series 145, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
    9. Liqun Liu & Jack Meyer & Andrew J. Rettenmaier & Thomas R. Saving, 2018. "Risk and risk aversion effects in contests with contingent payments," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 56(3), pages 289-305, June.
    10. Martin Carolin & Westerhoff Frank, 2019. "Regulating Speculative Housing Markets via Public Housing Construction Programs: Insights from a Heterogeneous Agent Model," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 239(4), pages 627-660, August.
    11. Martin, Carolin & Schmitt, Noemi & Westerhoff, Frank, 2019. "Housing markets, expectation formation and interest rates," BERG Working Paper Series 142, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tullock contest; risk aversion; prudence;

    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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