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Behavior in Contests

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  • Sheremeta, Roman

Abstract

Standard theoretical prediction is that rational economic agents participating in rent-seeking contests should engage in socially inefficient behavior by exerting costly efforts. Experimental studies find that the actual efforts of participants are significantly higher than predicted and that over-dissipation of rents (or overbidding or over-expenditure of resources) can occur. Although the standard theory cannot explain over-dissipation, this phenomenon can be explained by incorporating behavioral dimensions into the rent-seeking contest, such as (1) the utility of winning, (2) relative payoff maximization, (3) bounded rationality, and (4) judgmental biases. These explanations are not exhaustive, but they provide a coherent picture of important behavioral dimensions that should be considered when studying rent-seeking behavior in theory and in practice.

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  • Sheremeta, Roman, 2014. "Behavior in Contests," MPRA Paper 57451, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:57451
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/57451/1/MPRA_paper_57451.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Chen, Zhuoqiong (Charlie) & Ong, David & Sheremeta, Roman M., 2015. "The gender difference in the value of winning," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 226-229.
    2. David Clingingsmith & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2018. "Status and the demand for visible goods: experimental evidence on conspicuous consumption," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 21(4), pages 877-904, December.
    3. Anya Samek & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2017. "Selective Recognition: How to Recognize Donors to Increase Charitable Giving," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(3), pages 1489-1496, July.
    4. Curtis R. Price & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2015. "Endowment Origin, Demographic Effects, and Individual Preferences in Contests," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(3), pages 597-619, September.
    5. Llorente-Saguer, Aniol & Sheremeta, Roman M. & Szech, Nora, 2016. "Designing contests between heterogeneous contestants: An experimental study of tie-breaks and bid-caps in all-pay auctions," Working Paper Series in Economics 88, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Department of Economics and Business Engineering.
    6. Roman M. Sheremeta, 2018. "Behavior In Group Contests: A Review Of Experimental Research," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(3), pages 683-704, July.
    7. Deck, Cary & Sheremeta, Roman M., 2019. "The tug-of-war in the laboratory," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C).
    8. Timothy N. Cason & Roman M. Sheremeta & Jingjing Zhang, 2017. "Asymmetric and endogenous within-group communication in competitive coordination games," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 20(4), pages 946-972, December.
    9. Aniol Llorente-Saguer & Roman M. Sheremeta & Nora Szech, 2016. "Designing Contests Between Heterogeneous Contestants: An Experimental Study of Tie-Breaks and Bid-Caps in All-Pay Auctions," CESifo Working Paper Series 5955, CESifo Group Munich.
    10. Chen, Zhuoqiong & Ong, David & Sheremeta, Roman, 2015. "Competition Between and Within Universities: Theoretical and Experimental Investigation of Group Identity and the Desire to Win," MPRA Paper 67522, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    rent-seeking; contests; experiments; overbidding; over-dissipation;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • 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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