The beauty of "bigness" in contest design: merging or splitting?
This paper studies in a multiple-winner contest setting how the total efforts may vary between a grand contest and a set of subcontests. We first show that the rent-dissipation rate increases when the numbers of contestants and prizes are "scaled up". In other words, the total efforts of a contest exhibit a striking "increasing return to scale" property: when the numbers of contestants and prizes scale up proportionally, the total efforts of the contest increase more than proportionally. Thus, the total efforts must increase when a set of identical subcontests are merged into a grand contest. Equivalently, the total efforts decrease when a grand contest is evenly divided. We further allow the grand contest to be split into uneven subcontests. We show that under a mild and plausible condition (regular contest technology), the grand contest generates more efforts as compared to any split contests.
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"Influence Costs and Hierarchy,"
Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications
00-30, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
- Inderst, Roman & Müller, Holger M. & Wärneryd, Karl, 2000. "Influence Costs and Hierarchy," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 392, Stockholm School of Economics.
- Clark, Derek J & Riis, Christian, 1996. " A Multi-winner Nested Rent-Seeking Contest," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 87(1-2), pages 177-84, April.
- Amegashie, J Atsu, 2000. " Some Results on Rent-Seeking Contests with Shortlisting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 105(3-4), pages 245-53, December.
- Clark, Derek J. & Riis, Christian, 1998. "Influence and the discretionary allocation of several prizes," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 605-625, November.
- Barut, Yasar & Kovenock, Dan, 1998. "The symmetric multiple prize all-pay auction with complete information," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 627-644, November.
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