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Resource Allocation Contests: Experimental Evidence

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  • David Schmidt

    (Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Economics)

  • Robert Shupp

    (Ball State University)

  • James M. Walker

    (Indiana University Bloomington)

Abstract

Across many forms of rent seeking contests, the impact of risk aversion on equilibrium play is indeterminate. We design an experiment to compare individuals’ decisions across three contests which are isomorphic under risk-neutrality, but are typically not isomorphic under other risk preferences. The pattern of individual play across our contests is not consistent with a Bayes-Nash equilibrium for any distribution of risk preferences. We show that replacing the Bayes-Nash equilibrium concept with the quantal response equilibrium, along with heterogeneous risk preferences can produce equilibrium patterns of play that are very similar to the patterns we observe.

Suggested Citation

  • David Schmidt & Robert Shupp & James M. Walker, 2005. "Resource Allocation Contests: Experimental Evidence," CAEPR Working Papers 2006-004, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Department of Economics, Indiana University Bloomington, revised Aug 2006.
  • Handle: RePEc:inu:caeprp:2006004
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    rent seeking; experiments; risk aversion; game theory;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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