IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

The Evolution of Sharing Rules in Rent Seeking Contests: Incentives Crowd Out Cooperation

  • Heinrich Ursprung


    (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany)

Modern societies are characterized by competing organizations that rely predominantly on incentive schemes to align the behavior of their members with the organizations’ objectives. This study contributes to explaining why in so many cases incentive schemes have gradually crowded out cooperation as an organization device. Our explanation does not draw on free-riding, the obvious Achilles’ heel of cooperation, but relies completely on fundamental group contest mechanisms. By investigating a canonical rent seeking model and adopting an evolutionary perspective, the analysis identifies shortcomings in previous results, sets the record straight, and explains why the process of incentivizing organizations is protracted.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Konstanz in its series Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz with number 2011-02.

in new window

Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: 21 Feb 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:knz:dpteco:1102
Contact details of provider: Postal:
D-78457 Konstanz

Phone: +49-7531-88-3713
Fax: +49-7531-88-3130
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Kaoru Ueda, 2002. "Oligopolization in collective rent-seeking," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 19(3), pages 613-626.
  2. Riechmann, Thomas & Weimann, Joachim, 2008. "Competition as a coordination device: Experimental evidence from a minimum effort coordination game," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 437-454, June.
  3. Ryvkin, Dmitry, 2010. "Contests with private costs: Beyond two players," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 558-567, December.
  4. Aidt, T. & Hillman, A., 2008. "Enduring Rents," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0802, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  5. Chen, Kang & Tang, Fang-Fang, 2009. "Cultural differences between Tibetans and ethnic Han Chinese in ultimatum bargaining experiments," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 78-84, March.
  6. Cheikbossian, Guillaume, 2008. "Heterogeneous groups and rent-seeking for public goods," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 133-150, March.
  7. Lee, Sanghack, 1995. "Endogenous Sharing Rules in Collective-Group Rent-Seeking," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 85(1-2), pages 31-44, October.
  8. Arye L. Hillman & John G. Riley, 1987. "Politically Contestable Rents and Transfers," UCLA Economics Working Papers 452, UCLA Department of Economics.
  9. Konrad, Kai A., 2004. "Bidding in hierarchies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(6), pages 1301-1308, December.
  10. Kahana, Nava & Qijun, Liu, 2010. "Endemic corruption," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 82-88, March.
  11. Heller, William B. & Sieberg, Katri K., 2010. "Honor among thieves: Cooperation as a strategic response to functional unpleasantness," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 351-362, September.
  12. 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 841-64, October.
  13. Heinrich W. Ursprung, 1990. "Public Goods, Rent Dissipation, And Candidate Competition," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(2), pages 115-132, 07.
  14. Katz, Eliakim & Tokatlidu, Julia, 1996. "Group competition for rents," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 599-607, December.
  15. Baik, Kyung Hwan & Lee, Sanghack, 2007. "Collective rent seeking when sharing rules are private information," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 768-776, September.
  16. Arce, Daniel G., 2010. "Corporate virtue: Treatment of whistle blowers and the punishment of violators," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 363-371, September.
  17. Hausken, Kjell, 2000. "Cooperation and between-group competition," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 417-425, July.
  18. Reuben, Ernesto & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2010. "Everyone is a winner: Promoting cooperation through all-can-win intergroup competition," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 25-35, March.
  19. Angelopoulos, Konstantinos & Philippopoulos, Apostolis & Vassilatos, Vanghelis, 2009. "The social cost of rent seeking in Europe," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 280-299, September.
  20. Nitzan, Shmuel & Ueda, Kaoru, 2011. "Prize sharing in collective contests," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(5), pages 678-687, June.
  21. Gil Epstein & Yosef Mealem, 2009. "Group specific public goods, orchestration of interest groups with free riding," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 139(3), pages 357-369, June.
  22. Nitzan, Shmuel, 1991. "Rent-Seeking with Non-identical Sharing Rules," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 71(1-2), pages 43-50, August.
  23. Ansink, Erik & Weikard, Hans-Peter, 2009. "Contested water rights," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 247-260, June.
  24. Baik, Kyung Hwan & Shogren, Jason F, 1995. "Competitive-Share Group Formation in Rent-Seeking Contests," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 83(1-2), pages 113-26, April.
  25. Davis, Douglas D & Reilly, Robert J, 1999. "Rent-Seeking with Non-identical Sharing Rules: An Equilibrium Rescued," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 100(1-2), pages 31-38, July.
  26. Arye Hillman, 2009. "Hobbes and the prophet Samuel on leviathan government," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 141(1), pages 1-4, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:knz:dpteco:1102. 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: (Dr. Lisa Green)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.