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The beauty of "bigness" in contest design: merging or splitting?

Author

Listed:
  • Fu, Qiang
  • Lu, Jingfeng

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Fu, Qiang & Lu, Jingfeng, 2006. "The beauty of "bigness" in contest design: merging or splitting?," MPRA Paper 947, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:947
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/947/1/MPRA_paper_947.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Warneryd, Karl, 1998. "Distributional conflict and jurisdictional organization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 435-450, September.
    2. Roman Inderst & Holger Müller & Karl Wärneryd, 2005. "Influence costs and hierarchy," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 177-197, July.
    3. Amegashie, J Atsu, 2000. "Some Results on Rent-Seeking Contests with Shortlisting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 105(3-4), pages 245-253, December.
    4. Stergios Skaperdas, 1996. "Contest success functions (*)," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 7(2), pages 283-290.
    5. Warneryd, Karl, 2001. "Replicating contests," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 323-327, June.
    6. Yates, Andrew J. & Heckelman, Jac C., 2001. "Rent-setting in multiple winner rent-seeking contests," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 835-852, November.
    7. 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.
    8. Clark, Derek J & Riis, Christian, 1996. "A Multi-winner Nested Rent-Seeking Contest," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 87(1-2), pages 177-184, April.
    9. 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.
    10. Clark, Derek J & Riis, Christian, 1998. "Competition over More Than One Prize," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 276-289, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Contests; Multiple-winners; Efforts; Size; Replication;

    JEL classification:

    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory

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