IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Persuasion as a Contest

We examine how the probability of persuading an audience depends on resources expended by contending parties. We use a Bayesian approach whereby the audience makes inferences solely based on the evidence produced by the constants. We find conditions that yield the well-known additive contest success functions, including the logit function. We also find conditions that produce a generalized "difference" functional form. In all cases, there are three main determinants of audience choice: (i) the truth and other objective parameters of the environment; (ii) the biases of the audience; and (iii) the resources expended by the interested parties.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance in its series Economics Series with number 2008_07.

in new window

Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 16 Oct 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dkn:econwp:eco_2008_07
Contact details of provider: Postal:
221 Burwood Highway, Burwood 3125

Phone: 61 3 9244 3815
Fax: +61 3 5227 2655
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Christian Riis & Derek J. Clark, 1997. "Contest success functions: an extension," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 11(1), pages 201-204.
  2. Bernardo, Antonio E & Talley, Eric & Welch, Ivo, 2000. "A Theory of Legal Presumptions," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(1), pages 1-49, April.
  3. Song Shin, H, 1996. "Adversarial and Inquisitorial Procedures in Arbitration," Economics Papers 124, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  4. Kovenock, D. & de Vries, C.G., 1995. "The All-Pay Auction with Complete Information," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 311.95, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  5. Shleifer, Andrei & Mullainathan, Sendhil & Schwartzstein, Joshua, 2008. "Coarse Thinking and Persuasion," Scholarly Articles 11022284, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Potters, Jan & van Winden, Frans, 1992. "Lobbying and Asymmetric Information," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 74(3), pages 269-92, October.
  7. Skaperdas, Stergios, 1996. "Contest Success Functions," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 7(2), pages 283-90, February.
  8. Konrad, Kai A., 2003. "Bidding in hierarchies
    [Das Bieten in Hierarchien]
    ," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance SP II 2003-27, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  9. Samarth Vaidya, 2006. "The Nature of Corruption Deterrence in a Competitive Media Sector," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 229-243, August.
  10. Lagerlof, Johan, 1997. "Lobbying, information, and private and social welfare," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 615-637, September.
  11. Richard L. Fullerton & R. Preston McAfee, 1999. "Auctioning Entry into Tournaments," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 573-605, June.
  12. Hirshleifer, Jack & Osborne, Evan, 2001. "Truth, Effort, and the Legal Battle," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 108(1-2), pages 169-95, July.
  13. Baye, Michael R. & Hoppe, Heidrun C., 2003. "The strategic equivalence of rent-seeking, innovation, and patent-race games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 217-226, August.
  14. Che,Y.K. & Gale,I., 1998. "Difference-form contests and the robustness of all-pay auctions," Working papers 6, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  15. Wärneryd, Karl, 1997. "Distributional Conflict and Jurisdictional Organization," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 173, Stockholm School of Economics.
  16. Alexander R. W. Robson & Stergios Skaperdas, 2002. "Costly Enforcement of Property Rights and the Coase Theorem," CESifo Working Paper Series 762, CESifo Group Munich.
  17. Yeon-Koo Che & Ian Gale, 1998. "Caps on Political Lobbying," Microeconomics 9809003, EconWPA.
  18. Muller, Holger M & Warneryd, Karl, 2001. "Inside versus Outside Ownership: A Political Theory of the Firm," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(3), pages 527-41, Autumn.
  19. Arye L. Hillman & John G. Riley, 1987. "Politically Contestable Rents and Transfers," UCLA Economics Working Papers 452, UCLA Department of Economics.
  20. Patrick Legros & Andrew Newman, 2002. "Courts, contracts and interference," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/7034, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  21. Hao Jia, 2008. "A stochastic derivation of the ratio form of contest success functions," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 135(3), pages 125-130, June.
  22. Itzhak Gilboa & Enriqueta Aragones & Andrew Postlewaite & David Schmeidler, 2005. "Fact-Free Learning," Post-Print hal-00481243, HAL.
  23. Johan Lagerlöf, 2007. "A theory of rent seeking with informational foundations," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 197-218, May.
  24. Paul Milgrom & John Roberts, 1986. "Relying on the Information of Interested Parties," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(1), pages 18-32, Spring.
  25. Farmer, Amy & Pecorino, Paul, 1999. "Legal Expenditure as a Rent-Seeking Game," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 100(3-4), pages 271-88, September.
  26. Froeb, Luke M & Kobayashi, Bruce H, 1996. "Naive, Biased, Yet Bayesian: Can Juries Interpret Selectively Produced Evidence?," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 257-76, April.
  27. Nitzan, Shmuel, 1994. "Modelling rent-seeking contests," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 41-60, May.
  28. Konrad, Kai A., 2009. "Strategy and Dynamics in Contests," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199549603, December.
  29. Vaidya, Samarth, 2005. "Corruption in the media's gaze," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 667-687, September.
  30. Snyder, James M, 1989. "Election Goals and the Allocation of Campaign Resources," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 637-60, May.
  31. David N. Laband & John P. Sophocleus, 1992. "An Estimate of Resource Expenditures on Transfer Activity in the United States," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 959-983.
  32. Jack Hirshleifer, 1989. "Conflict and rent-seeking success functions: Ratio vs. difference models of relative success," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 63(2), pages 101-112, November.
  33. Konrad, Kai A., 2007. "Strategy in contests: an introduction
    [Strategie in Turnieren – eine Einführung]
    ," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance SP II 2007-01, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:dkn:econwp:eco_2008_07. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dr Xueli Tang)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.