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A general framework for studying contests

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  • Bastani, Spencer
  • Giebe, Thomas
  • Gürtler, Oliver

Abstract

We develop a general framework to study contests, containing the well-known models of Tullock (1980) and Lazear and Rosen (1981) as special cases. The contest outcome depends on players' effort and skill, the latter being subject to symmetric uncertainty. The model is tractable, because a symmetric equilibrium exists under general assumptions regarding production technologies and skill distributions. We construct a link between our contest model and expected utility theory and exploit this link to revisit important comparative statics results of contest theory and show how these can be overturned. Finally, we apply our results to study optimal workforce composition.

Suggested Citation

  • Bastani, Spencer & Giebe, Thomas & Gürtler, Oliver, 2019. "A general framework for studying contests," MPRA Paper 97363, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:97363
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    Cited by:

    1. Mikhail Drugov & Dmitry Ryvkin, 2020. "Hunting for the discouragement effect in contests," Working Papers w0278, New Economic School (NES).
    2. René Kirkegaard, 2020. "Microfounded Contest Design," Working Papers 2003, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
    3. Subhasish M. Chowdhury & Patricia Esteve-González & Anwesha Mukherjee, 2020. "Heterogeneity, Leveling the Playing Field, and Affirmative Action in Contests," Economics Series Working Papers 915, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    contest theory; symmetric equilibrium; heterogeneity; risk; decision theory;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • M51 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Firm Employment Decisions; Promotions

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