IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Learning by Doing in Contests

  • J. Clark, Derek


    (University of Tromsø)

  • Nilssen, Tore


    (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)

We introduce learning by doing in a dynamic contest. Contestants compete in an early round and can use the experience gained to reduce effort cost in a subsequent contest. A contest designer can decide how much of the prize mass to distribute in the early contest and how much to leave for the later one in order to maximize total efforts. We show how this division affects effort at each stage, and present conditions that characterize the optimal split. The results are indicative of the fact that the designer weakly prefers to leave most of the prize mass for the second contest to reap the gains from the learning by doing effect.

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 Oslo University, Department of Economics in its series Memorandum with number 09/2010.

in new window

Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 11 May 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published as J. Clark, Derek and Tore Nilssen, 'Learning by Doing in Contests' in Public Choice, 2013, pages 329-343.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:osloec:2010_009
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, University of Oslo, P.O Box 1095 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway
Phone: 22 85 51 27
Fax: 22 85 50 35
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. Szymanski, Stefan & Valletti, Tommaso M., 2005. "Incentive effects of second prizes," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 467-481, June.
  2. Konrad, Kai A., 2001. "Investment in the Absence of Property Rights: The Role of Incumbency Advantages," CEPR Discussion Papers 3050, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Dmitry Ryvkin, 2011. "Fatigue in Dynamic Tournaments," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(4), pages 1011-1041, December.
  4. Johansson, Börje & Karlsson, Charlie & Backman, Mikaela & Juusola, Pia, 2007. "The Lisbon Agenda From 2000 To 2010," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 106, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
  5. Moldovanu, Benny & Sela, Aner, 1999. "The Optimal Allocation of Prizes in Contests," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 99-75, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  6. Konrad, Kai A. & Kovenock, Dan, 2009. "Multi-battle contests," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 256-274, May.
  7. Rick Harbaugh & Tilman Klumpp, 2004. "Early Round Upsets and Championship Blowouts," Working Papers 2004-09, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  8. Konrad, Kai A., 2009. "Strategy and Dynamics in Contests," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199549603.
  9. Clark, Derek J. & Riis, Christian, 1998. "Influence and the discretionary allocation of several prizes," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 605-625, November.
  10. Chowdhury, Subhasish M. & Sheremeta, Roman M., 2011. "Multiple equilibria in Tullock contests," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 112(2), pages 216-219, August.
  11. Clark, Derek J & Riis, Christian, 1998. "Competition over More Than One Prize," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 276-89, March.
  12. 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.
  13. Stefan Szymanski, 2003. "The Economic Design of Sporting Contests," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1137-1187, December.
  14. Martin Grossmann & Helmut Dietl, 2007. "Investment Behaviour in a Two Period Contest Model," Working Papers 0069, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
  15. Robert Ritz, 2008. "Influencing rent-seeking contests," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 135(3), pages 291-300, June.
  16. Fu, Qiang & Lu, Jingfeng, 2009. "Contest with pre-contest investment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 103(3), pages 142-145, June.
  17. Klumpp, Tilman & Polborn, Mattias K., 2006. "Primaries and the New Hampshire Effect," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(6-7), pages 1073-1114, August.
  18. Baik, Kyung Hwan & Lee, Sanghack, 2000. " Two-Stage Rent-Seeking Contests with Carryovers," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 103(3-4), pages 285-96, June.
  19. Nti, Kofi O, 1999. " Rent-Seeking with Asymmetric Valuations," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(3-4), pages 415-30, March.
  20. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1983. "Learning-by-Doing and Market Performance," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 522-530, Autumn.
  21. Moldovanu, Benny & Sela, Aner, 2006. "Contest architecture," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 126(1), pages 70-96, January.
  22. Mark Gradstein, 1995. "Intensity Of Competition, Entry And Entry Deterrence In Rent Seeking Contests," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(1), pages 79-91, 03.
  23. 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.
  24. Marco Runkel, 2006. "Optimal contest design, closeness and the contest success function," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 129(1), pages 217-231, October.
  25. Lockard, Alan A, 2003. " Decision by Sortition: A Means to Reduce Rent-Seeking," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 116(3-4), pages 435-51, September.
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:hhs:osloec:2010_009. 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: (Rhiana Bergh-Seeley)

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.