IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/inn/wpaper/2014-08.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Optimal prizes in dynamic elimination contests: Theory and experimental evidence

Author

Listed:
  • Rudi Stracke

    ()

  • Wolfgang H�chtl

    ()

  • Rudolf Kerschbamer

    ()

  • Uwe Sunde

    ()

Abstract

This paper investigates the implications of different prize structures on effort provision in dynamic (two-stage) elimination contests. Theoretical results show that, for risk-neutral participants, a structure with a single prize for the winner of the contest maximizes total effort, while a structure with two appropriately chosen prizes (a runner-up prize and a final prize) ensures incentive maintenance across stages. In contrast, a structure with two prizes may dominate a winner-takes-all contest in both dimensions if participants are risk-averse. Evidence from laboratory experiments is largely consistent with these predictions, suggesting that contest design should account for risk attitudes of participants.

Suggested Citation

  • Rudi Stracke & Wolfgang H�chtl & Rudolf Kerschbamer & Uwe Sunde, 2014. "Optimal prizes in dynamic elimination contests: Theory and experimental evidence," Working Papers 2014-08, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  • Handle: RePEc:inn:wpaper:2014-08
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www2.uibk.ac.at/downloads/c4041030/wpaper/2014-08.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-864, October.
    2. Curtis R. Price & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2015. "Endowment Origin, Demographic Effects, and Individual Preferences in Contests," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(3), pages 597-619, September.
    3. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde, 2010. "Are Risk Aversion and Impatience Related to Cognitive Ability?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 1238-1260, June.
    4. Konrad, Kai A., 2009. "Strategy and Dynamics in Contests," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199549603.
    5. Dana Sisak, 2009. "Multiple-Prize Contests - The Optimal Allocation Of Prizes," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(1), pages 82-114, February.
    6. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk, 2011. "Performance Pay and Multidimensional Sorting: Productivity, Preferences, and Gender," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 556-590, April.
    7. Sheremeta, Roman M., 2010. "Experimental comparison of multi-stage and one-stage contests," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 731-747, March.
    8. Roman M. Sheremeta, 2010. "Expenditures and Information Disclosure in Two-Stage Political Contests," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 54(5), pages 771-798, October.
    9. Perez-Castrillo, J David & Verdier, Thierry, 1992. "A General Analysis of Rent-Seeking Games," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 73(3), pages 335-350, April.
    10. Gradstein, Mark & Konrad, Kai A, 1999. "Orchestrating Rent Seeking Contests," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(458), pages 536-545, October.
    11. Eriksen, Kristoffer W. & Kvaløy, Ola, 2014. "Myopic risk-taking in tournaments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 37-46.
    12. McKelvey Richard D. & Palfrey Thomas R., 1995. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Normal Form Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 6-38, July.
    13. Douglas Davis & Robert Reilly, 1998. "Do too many cooks always spoil the stew? An experimental analysis of rent-seeking and the role of a strategic buyer," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 95(1), pages 89-115, April.
    14. Christine Harbring & Gabriele K. Lünser, 2008. "On the Competition of Asymmetric Agents," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9, pages 373-395, August.
    15. Potters, Jan & de Vries, Casper G. & van Winden, Frans, 1998. "An experimental examination of rational rent-seeking," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 783-800, November.
    16. Rosen, Sherwin, 1986. "Prizes and Incentives in Elimination Tournaments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 701-715, September.
    17. Roman M. Sheremeta, 2011. "Contest Design: An Experimental Investigation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 49(2), pages 573-590, April.
    18. Richard H. Thaler & Eric J. Johnson, 1990. "Gambling with the House Money and Trying to Break Even: The Effects of Prior Outcomes on Risky Choice," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(6), pages 643-660, June.
    19. Steffen Altmann & Armin Falk & Matthias Wibral, 2012. "Promotions and Incentives: The Case of Multistage Elimination Tournaments," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 149-174.
    20. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
    21. Roman M. Sheremeta, 2013. "Overbidding And Heterogeneous Behavior In Contest Experiments," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(3), pages 491-514, July.
    22. Bonin, Holger & Dohmen, Thomas & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David & Sunde, Uwe, 2007. "Cross-sectional earnings risk and occupational sorting: The role of risk attitudes," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 926-937, December.
    23. Price, Curtis R. & Sheremeta, Roman M., 2011. "Endowment effects in contests," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 111(3), pages 217-219, June.
    24. 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.
    25. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    26. Pollmann, Daniel & Dohmen, Thomas & Palm, Franz C., 2012. "Robust Estimation of Wage Dispersion with Censored Data: An Application to Occupational Earnings Risk and Risk Attitudes," IZA Discussion Papers 6447, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    27. Christian Ewerhart, 2010. "Rent-seeking contests with independent private values," IEW - Working Papers 490, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    28. Gneezy, Uri & Smorodinsky, Rann, 2006. "All-pay auctions--an experimental study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 255-275, October.
    29. Baye, M.R. & Kovenock, D. & De Vries, C.G., 1993. "The Solution to the Tullock Rent-Seeking Game when R > 2: Mixed Strategy Equilibria and Mean Dissipation Rates," Papers 10-93-9, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
    30. Harbring, Christine & Irlenbusch, Bernd, 2003. "An experimental study on tournament design," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 443-464, August.
    31. Millner, Edward L & Pratt, Michael D, 1991. "Risk Aversion and Rent-Seeking: An Extension and Some Experimental Evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 69(1), pages 81-92, February.
    32. Bull, Clive & Schotter, Andrew & Weigelt, Keith, 1987. "Tournaments and Piece Rates: An Experimental Study," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(1), pages 1-33, February.
    33. Baye, M.R. & Kovenock, D., 1993. "The Solution to the Tullock Rent-Seeking Game When R > 2: Mixed Strategy Equilibria and Mean Dissipation Rates," Papers 9368, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
    34. Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    35. Qiang Fu & Jingfeng Lu, 2012. "The optimal multi-stage contest," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 51(2), pages 351-382, October.
    36. Konrad, Kai A & Schlesinger, Harris, 1997. "Risk Aversion in Rent-Seeking and Rent-Augmenting Games," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1671-1683, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Netanel Nissim & Aner Sela, 2017. "The Third Place Game," Working Papers 1709, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
    2. Lackner, Mario & Stracke, Rudi & Sunde, Uwe & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2015. "Are Competitors Forward Looking in Strategic Interactions? Evidence from the Field," Economics Series 319, Institute for Advanced Studies.
    3. Emmanuel Dechenaux & Dan Kovenock & Roman Sheremeta, 2015. "A survey of experimental research on contests, all-pay auctions and tournaments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(4), pages 609-669, December.
    4. Tanja H�rtnagl & Rudolf Kerschbamer & Rudi Stracke & Uwe Sunde, 2013. "Heterogeneity in Rent-Seeking Contests with Multiple Stages: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 2013-29, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    5. repec:eee:eecrev:v:98:y:2017:i:c:p:264-281 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Stracke, Rudi & Kerschbamer, Rudolf & Sunde, Uwe, 2015. "Prevalence and Determinants of Choice Bracketing - Experimental Evidence," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113092, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Dynamic Contests; Multiple Prizes; Risk Aversion; Experiment; Over-provision;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inn:wpaper:2014-08. 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: (Janette Walde). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/fuibkat.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.