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The optimal allocation of prizes in contests: An auction approach


  • Kiho Yoon

    () (Department of Economics, Korea University, Seoul, Republic of Korea)


We characterize the optimal structure of prizes in contests, when the contest designer is interested in the maximization of either the expected total e¢çort or the expected highest e¢çort. The all-pay auction framework in the present paper makes it possible to derive all the results in Benny Moldovanu and Aner Sela's (2001, American Economic Review, 542-558) incomplete-information model of contests as well as other results in a particularly simple fashion.

Suggested Citation

  • Kiho Yoon, 2012. "The optimal allocation of prizes in contests: An auction approach," Discussion Paper Series 1207, Institute of Economic Research, Korea University.
  • Handle: RePEc:iek:wpaper:1207

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Benny Moldovanu & Aner Sela & Xianwen Shi, 2012. "Carrots And Sticks: Prizes And Punishments In Contests," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 50(2), pages 453-462, April.
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    More about this item


    Contests; Optimal structure; Prizes; All-pay auctions;

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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