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Lotteries vs. All-Pay Auctions in Fair and Biased Contests

  • Epstein, Gil S.

    ()

    (Bar-Ilan University)

  • Mealem, Yosef

    ()

    (Netanya Academic College)

  • Nitzan, Shmuel

    ()

    (Bar-Ilan University)

The form of contests for a single fixed prize can be determined by a designer who maximizes the contestants' efforts. This paper establishes that, under common knowledge of the two asymmetric contestants' prize valuations, a fair Tullock-type endogenously determined lottery is always superior to an all-pay-auction; it yields larger expected efforts (revenues) for the contest designer. If the contest can be unfair (structural discrimination is allowed), then the designer's payoff under the optimal lottery is equal to his expected payoff under the optimal all-pay auction.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7032.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economics and Politics, 2013, 25(1), 48–60.
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7032
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  1. Jörg Franke, 2010. "Does Affirmative Action Reduce Effort Incentives? – A Contest Game Analysis," Ruhr Economic Papers 0185, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  2. Epstein, Gil S. & Gang, Ira N., 2008. "Good Governance and Good Aid Allocation," IZA Discussion Papers 3585, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Baye, Michael R & Kovenock, Dan & de Vries, Casper G, 1993. "Rigging the Lobbying Process: An Application of the All-Pay Auction," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 289-94, March.
  4. Lien, Da-Hsiang Donald, 1990. "Corruption and allocation efficiency," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 153-164, July.
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  6. Moldovanu, Benny & Sela, Aner, 2002. "Contest Architecture," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 02-06, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  7. Jörg Franke & Christian Kanzow & Wolfgang Leininger & Alexandra Väth, 2009. "Effort Maximization in Asymmetric N-person Contest Games," Ruhr Economic Papers 0130, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  8. Nti, Kofi O., 2004. "Maximum efforts in contests with asymmetric valuations," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 1059-1066, November.
  9. Gil S. Epstein & Yosef Mealem & Shmuel Nitzan, 2010. "Political Culture and Discrimination in Contests," CESifo Working Paper Series 3170, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Yeon-Koo Che & Ian Gale, 2003. "Optimal Design of Research Contests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 646-671, June.
  11. Glazer, Amihai, 1993. " On the Incentives to Establish and Play Political Rent-Seeking Games," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 75(2), pages 139-48, February.
  12. Franke, Jörg, 2012. "Affirmative action in contest games," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 105-118.
  13. Gil Epstein & Shmuel Nitzan, 2006. "The Politics of Randomness," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 423-433, October.
  14. Che, Yeon-Koo & Gale, Ian L, 1998. "Caps on Political Lobbying," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 643-51, June.
  15. Gil S . Epstein & Shmuel Nitzan, 2002. "Endogenous Public Policy, Politicization and Welfare," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 4(4), pages 661-677, October.
  16. Skaperdas, Stergios, 1996. "Contest Success Functions," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 283-90, February.
  17. Glazer, Amihai & Hassin, Refael, 1988. "Optimal Contests," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(1), pages 133-43, January.
  18. Clark, Derek J. & Riis, Christian, 2000. "Allocation efficiency in a competitive bribery game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 109-124, May.
  19. Alexander Matros & Daniel Armanios, 2009. "Tullock’s contest with reimbursements," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 141(1), pages 49-63, October.
  20. Arye L. Hillman & John G. Riley, 1987. "Politically Contestable Rents and Transfers," UCLA Economics Working Papers 452, UCLA Department of Economics.
  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. Gil S. Epstein & Shmuel Nitzan, 2002. "Effort and Performance in Public-Policy Contests," CESifo Working Paper Series 634, CESifo Group Munich.
  23. Gradstein, Mark, 1998. "Optimal contest design: volume and timing of rent seeking in contests," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 575-585, November.
  24. Gradstein, Mark & Konrad, Kai A, 1999. "Orchestrating Rent Seeking Contests," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(458), pages 536-45, October.
  25. Amegashie, J Atsu, 2000. " Some Results on Rent-Seeking Contests with Shortlisting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 105(3-4), pages 245-53, December.
  26. Marco Runkel, 2006. "Optimal contest design, closeness and the contest success function," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 129(1), pages 217-231, October.
  27. Fang, Hanming, 2002. " Lottery versus All-Pay Auction Models of Lobbying," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 112(3-4), pages 351-71, September.
  28. Taylor, Curtis R, 1995. "Digging for Golden Carrots: An Analysis of Research Tournaments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 872-90, September.
  29. Che, Yeon-Koo & Gale, Ian, 1997. " Rent Dissipation When Rent Seekers Are Budget Constrained," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 92(1-2), pages 109-26, July.
  30. Jörg Franke & Christian Kanzow & Wolfgang Leininger & Alexandra Schwartz, 2013. "Effort maximization in asymmetric contest games with heterogeneous contestants," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 52(2), pages 589-630, March.
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