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

Author

Listed:
  • Epstein, Gil S.

    (Bar-Ilan University)

  • Mealem, Yosef

    (Netanya Academic College)

  • Nitzan, Shmuel

    (Bar-Ilan University)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Epstein, Gil S. & Mealem, Yosef & Nitzan, Shmuel, 2012. "Lotteries vs. All-Pay Auctions in Fair and Biased Contests," IZA Discussion Papers 7032, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7032
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Tullock Lottery Contests with Direct and Covert Discrimination
      by Matthew Wildrick Thomas in Matthew Wildrick Thomas on 2021-04-15 00:00:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Jose Alcalde & Matthias Dahm, 2016. "Proportional payoffs in legislative bargaining with weighted voting: a characterization," Discussion Papers 2016-03, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    2. Franke, Jörg & Leininger, Wolfgang & Wasser, Cédric, 2018. "Optimal favoritism in all-pay auctions and lottery contests," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 22-37.
    3. Epstein, Gil S. & Mealem, Yosef, 2013. "Politicians, Governed vs. Non-Governed Interest Groups and Rent Dissipation," IZA Discussion Papers 7736, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Yosef Mealem & Shmuel Nitzan, 2014. "Equity and effectiveness of optimal taxation in contests under an all-pay auction," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 42(2), pages 437-464, February.
    5. Clark, Derek J. & Kundu, Tapas, 2021. "Competitive balance: Information disclosure and discrimination in an asymmetric contest," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 184(C), pages 178-198.
    6. Ewerhart, Christian, 2017. "Revenue ranking of optimally biased contests: The case of two players," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 167-170.
    7. Grajzl, Peter & Baniak, Andrzej, 2018. "Private enforcement, corruption, and antitrust design," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 284-307.
    8. Kawamori, Tomohiko, 2023. "Complete-rent-dissipation contest design," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 232(C).
    9. Franke, Jörg & Kanzow, Christian & Leininger, Wolfgang & Schwartz, Alexandra, 2014. "Lottery versus all-pay auction contests: A revenue dominance theorem," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 116-126.
    10. repec:elg:eechap:15325_8 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Subhasish M. Chowdhury & Patricia Esteve‐González & Anwesha Mukherjee, 2023. "Heterogeneity, leveling the playing field, and affirmative action in contests," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 89(3), pages 924-974, January.
    12. Dongryul Lee & Joon Song, 2019. "Optimal Team Contests to Induce More Efforts," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 20(3), pages 448-476, April.
    13. Alexander Matros & Alex Possajennikov, 2014. "Common Value Allocation Mechanisms with Private Information: Lotteries or Auctions?," Discussion Papers 2014-07, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    14. Yosef Mealem & Shmuel Nitzan, 2012. "Differential Prize Taxation and Structural Discrimination in Contests," CESifo Working Paper Series 3831, CESifo.
    15. Alcalde, José & Dahm, Matthias, 2019. "Dual sourcing with price discovery," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 225-246.
    16. Marco Sahm, 2022. "Optimal Accuracy of Unbiased Tullock Contests with Two Heterogeneous Players," Games, MDPI, vol. 13(2), pages 1-6, March.
    17. Yosef Mealem & Shmuel Nitzan, 2013. "Direct and Structural Discrimination in Contests," CESifo Working Paper Series 4518, CESifo.
    18. Gil Epstein & Yosef Mealem, 2015. "Politicians, governed versus non-governed interest groups and rent dissipation," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 79(1), pages 133-149, July.
    19. Feng, Xin & Lu, Jingfeng, 2017. "Uniqueness of equilibrium in two-player asymmetric Tullock contests with intermediate discriminatory power," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 61-64.
    20. Tomohiko Kawamori, 2020. "Extractive contest design," Papers 2006.01808, arXiv.org, revised Jul 2022.
    21. Christian Ewerhart & Julia Lareida, 2018. "Voluntary disclosure in asymmetric contests," ECON - Working Papers 279, Department of Economics - University of Zurich, revised Jul 2023.
    22. Marco Sahm, 2022. "Optimal Accuracy of Unbiased Tullock Contests with Two Heterogeneous Players," CESifo Working Paper Series 9601, CESifo.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    endogenous lottery; discrimination; efforts (revenue) maximization; contest design; all-pay auction;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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