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Efficient Contests

  • Riis, Christian
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    In their seminal contribution Lazear and Rosen (1981) show that wages based upon rank induce the same e¢ cient e¤ort as incentive-based reward schemes. They also show that this equivalence result is not robust towards heterogeneity in worker ability, as long as ability is private information, as it is not possible to structure contests to simultaneously satisfy self-selection constraints and first best incentives. This paper demonstrates that efficiency is achievable by a simple modification of the prize scheme in a mixed (heterogenous) contest. In the L&R contest, the winner's prize as well as the loser's prize are fixed in advance. In this paper I demonstrate that efficiency is restored by a modification of contest design, in which contestants choose from a menu of prizes.

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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/10906/1/MPRA_paper_10906.pdf
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    Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 10906.

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    Date of creation: Apr 2008
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    Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:10906
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    1. Edward P. Lazear & Sherwin Rosen, 1979. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," NBER Working Papers 0401, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. O'Keeffe, Mary & Viscusi, W Kip & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1984. "Economic Contests: Comparative Reward Schemes," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(1), pages 27-56, January.
    3. Theofanis Tsoulouhas & Charles Knoeber & Anup Agrawal, 2007. "Contests to become CEO: incentives, selection and handicaps," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 30(2), pages 195-221, February.
    4. Holmstrom, Bengt, 1982. "Design of incentive schemes and the new Soviet Incentive model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 127-148.
    5. Stefan Szymanski, 2003. "The Economic Design of Sporting Contests," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1137-1187, December.
    6. Bhattacharya, Sudipto & Guasch, J Luis, 1988. "Heterogeneity, Tournaments, and Hierarchies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 867-81, August.
    7. Yeon-Koo Che & Ian Gale, 2000. "Optimal Design of Research Contests," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1784, Econometric Society.
    8. Barry J. Nalebuff & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1983. "Prices and Incentives: Towards a General Theory of Compensation and Competition," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(1), pages 21-43, Spring.
    9. Robert Gibbons, 1996. "Incentives and Careers in Organizations," NBER Working Papers 5705, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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