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Multi-battle contests

  • Konrad, Kai A.
  • Kovenock, Dan

We study equilibrium in a multistage race in which players compete in a sequence of simultaneous move component contests. Players may win a prize for winning each component contest, as well as a prize for winning the overall race. Each component contest is an all-pay auction with complete information. We characterize the unique equilibrium analytically and demonstrate that it exhibits endogenous uncertainty. Even a large lead by one player does not fully discourage the other player, and each feasible state is reached with positive probability in equilibrium (pervasiveness). Total effort may exceed the value of the prize by a factor that is proportional to the maximum number of stages. Important applications are to war, sports, and R&D contests and the results have empirical counterparts there.

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Paper provided by Purdue University, Department of Economics in its series Purdue University Economics Working Papers with number 1187.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pur:prukra:1187
Contact details of provider: Postal: Krannert Building, West Lafayette, IN 47907
Web page: http://www.krannert.purdue.edu/programs/phd

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  1. Konrad, Kai A. & Kovenock, Dan, 2006. "Equilibrium and Efficiency in the Tug-of-War," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 121, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  2. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-64, October.
  3. Benny Moldovanu & Aner Sela, 2001. "The Optimal Allocation of Prizes in Contests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 542-558, June.
  4. Moldovanu, Benny & Sela, Aner, 2002. "Contest Architecture," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 02-06, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  5. Leininger, Wolfgang, 1991. "Patent competition, rent dissipation, and the persistence of monopoly: The role of research budgets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 146-172, February.
  6. Harris, Christopher & Vickers, John, 1985. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Model of a Race," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 193-209, April.
  7. Klumpp, Tilman & Polborn, Mattias K., 2006. "Primaries and the New Hampshire Effect," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(6-7), pages 1073-1114, August.
  8. Clark, Derek J. & Riis, Christian, 2000. "Allocation efficiency in a competitive bribery game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 109-124, May.
  9. Ellingsen, T., 1990. "Strategic Buyers and the Social Cost of Monopoly," Papers 05-90, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration-.
  10. Michael R. Baye & Dan Kovenock & Casper G. de Vries, 1997. "The Incidence of Overdissipation in Rent-Seeking Contests," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 97-045/2, Tinbergen Institute.
  11. Baye, Michael R & Kovenock, Dan & de Vries, Casper G, 1993. "Rigging the Lobbying Process: An Application of the All-Pay Auction," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 289-94, March.
  12. Baye, M.R. & Kovenock, D., 1993. "The Solution to the Tullock Rent-Seeking Game When R > 2: Mixed Strategy Equilibria and Mean Dissipation Rates," Papers 9368, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
  13. Arye L. Hillman & John G. Riley, 1987. "Politically Contestable Rents and Transfers," UCLA Economics Working Papers 452, UCLA Department of Economics.
  14. Baye, Michael R & Kovenock, Dan & de Vries, Casper G, 1999. " The Incidence of Overdissipation in Rent-Seeking Contests," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 99(3-4), pages 439-54, June.
  15. Fudenberg, Drew & Gilbert, Richard & Stiglitz, Joseph & Tirole, Jean, 1983. "Preemption, leapfrogging and competition in patent races," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-31, June.
  16. Budd, Christopher & Harris, Christopher & Vickers, John, 1993. "A Model of the Evolution of Duopoly: Does the Asymmetry between Firms Tend to Increase or Decrease?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 543-73, July.
  17. Michelle R Garfinkel & Stergios Skaperdas, 2001. "Conflict Without Misperceptions or Incomplete Information: How the Future Matters," Levine's Working Paper Archive 563824000000000011, David K. Levine.
  18. Che, Yeon-Koo & Gale, Ian, 2000. "Difference-Form Contests and the Robustness of All-Pay Auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 22-43, January.
  19. Harris, Christopher & Vickers, John, 1987. "Racing with Uncertainty," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(1), pages 1-21, January.
  20. Johannes Hörner & Nicolas Sahuguet, 2011. "A war of attrition with endogenous effort levels," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 47(1), pages 1-27, May.
  21. Lee, Tom & Wilde, Louis L, 1980. "Market Structure and Innovation: A Reformulation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 94(2), pages 429-36, March.
  22. Dan Kovenock & Michael R. Baye & Casper G. de Vries, 1996. "The all-pay auction with complete information (*)," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 291-305.
  23. Thomas Hoehn & Stefan Szymanski, 1999. "The Americanization of European football," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 14(28), pages 203-240, 04.
  24. Stefan Szymanski, 2003. "The Economic Design of Sporting Contests," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1137-1187, December.
  25. Fearon, James D., 1995. "Rationalist explanations for war," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(03), pages 379-414, June.
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