On the Role of Information in Contests
Consider a contest for a prize in which each player knows his own ability, but may or may not know those of his rivals (the complete or incomplete information regimes). Our main result is that, if the value of the prize is high, more e¤ort and output are engendered under incomplete information; whereas, if the value is low, that distinction goes to complete information. We also examine strategic behavior of a "contest manager" who is privy to information about the abilities of all the players. It turns out that, in order to inspire performance, it is often better for him neither to reveal all nor to conceal all, but to follow a middle path of partial revelation.
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