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A Survey of Experimental Research on Contests, All-Pay Auctions and Tournaments

  • Emmanuel Dechenaux

    (Department of Economics, Kent State University)

  • Dan Kovenock

    (Economic Science Institute, Chapman University)

  • Roman Sheremeta

    ()

    (Argyros School of Business and Economics, Chapman University)

Many economic, political and social environments can be described as contests in which agents exert costly efforts while competing over the distribution of a scarce resource. These environments have been studied using Tullock contests, all-pay auctions and rank-order tournaments. This survey provides a review of experimental research on these three canonical contests. First, we review studies investigating the basic structure of contests, including the contest success function, number of players and prizes, spillovers and externalities, heterogeneity, and incomplete information. Second, we discuss dynamic contests and multibattle contests. Then we review research on sabotage, feedback, bias, collusion, alliances, and contests between groups, as well as real-effort and field experiments. Finally, we discuss applications of contests to the study of legal systems, political competition, war, conflict avoidance, sales, and charities, and suggest directions for future research.

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Paper provided by Chapman University, Economic Science Institute in its series Working Papers with number 12-22.

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Length: 99 pages
Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:chu:wpaper:12-22
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