The Equivalence of Contests
We use a Tullock-type contest model to show that intuitively and structurally different contests can be strategically and revenue equivalent to each other. We consider a two-player contest, where outcome-contingent payoffs are linear functions of prizes, own effort, and the effort of the rival. We identify strategically equivalent contests that generate the same family of best response functions and, as a result, the same revenue. However, two strategically equivalent contests may yield different equilibrium payoffs. Finally, we discuss possible contest design applications and avenues for future theoretical and empirical research.
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