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A Micro- Foundation for Non-Deterministic Contests of the Logit Form


  • Matthias Dahm
  • Nicolas Porteiro


In models of non-deterministic contest, players exert irreversible effort in order to increase their probability of winning a prize. The most prominent functional form of the win probability in the literature is the so-called “logit” contest success function. We provide a simple micro-foundation of this function for the two contestant case. In this setting the contest administrator is a rational decision maker whose optimal choice is deterministic. However, from the point of view of the contestants the outcome of the contest is probabilistic because of an underlying uncertainty about the type of the administrator.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthias Dahm & Nicolas Porteiro, 2005. "A Micro- Foundation for Non-Deterministic Contests of the Logit Form," Discussion Papers 1410, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:1410

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Christian Riis & Derek J. Clark, 1997. "Contest success functions: an extension," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 11(1), pages 201-204.
    2. Che, Yeon-Koo & Gale, Ian, 2000. "Difference-Form Contests and the Robustness of All-Pay Auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 22-43, January.
    3. Matthias Dahm & Nicolás Porteiro, 2008. "Biased contests," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 136(1), pages 55-67, July.
    4. Dan Kovenock & Michael R. Baye & Casper G. de Vries, 1996. "The all-pay auction with complete information (*)," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 8(2), pages 291-305.
    5. Amegashie, J.A., 2003. "A Contest Success Function with a Tractable Noise Parameter," Working Papers 2003-5, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
    6. 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 289-294, March.
    7. Stergios Skaperdas, 1996. "Contest success functions (*)," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 7(2), pages 283-290.
    8. J. Amegashie, 2006. "A contest success function with a tractable noise parameter," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 126(1), pages 135-144, January.
    9. Baik, Kyung Hwan, 1998. "Difference-form contest success functions and effort levels in contests," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 685-701, November.
    10. Nitzan, Shmuel, 1994. "Modelling rent-seeking contests," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 41-60, May.
    11. Walter Trockel, 2000. "Implementations of the Nash solution based on its Walrasian characterization," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 16(2), pages 277-294.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pelosse, Yohan, 2011. "Equivalence of optimal noisy-ranking contests and Tullock contests," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(6), pages 740-748.

    More about this item


    Contests; Contest Success Function; Effort levels; Endogenous Contest.;

    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
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions

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