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Lottery versus All-Pay Auction Contests – A Revenue Dominance Theorem

  • Jörg Franke

    ()

  • Christian Kanzow
  • Wolfgang Leininger
  • Alexandra Schwartz

We allow a contest organizer to bias a contest in a discriminatory way, that is, she can favor specific contestants through the choice of contest success functions in order to maximize total equilibrium effort (resp. revenue). The scope for revenue enhancement through biasing is analyzed and compared for the two predominant contest regimes; i.e. all-pay auctions and lottery contests. Our main result reveals that an appropriately biased all-pay auction revenue dominates the optimally biased lottery contest for all levels of heterogeneity among contestants. Moreover, such a biased all-pay auction will never make use of the celebrated exclusion principle advanced by Baye et al. (1993).

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Paper provided by Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen in its series Ruhr Economic Papers with number 0315.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rwi:repape:0315
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  1. Kirkegaard, René, 2012. "Favoritism in asymmetric contests: Head starts and handicaps," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 226-248.
  2. Richard Cornes & Roger Hartley, 2005. "Asymmetric contests with general technologies," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 923-946, November.
  3. Alcalde, José & Dahm, Matthias, 2010. "Rent seeking and rent dissipation: A neutrality result," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 1-7, February.
  4. Epstein, Gil S. & Mealem, Yosef & Nitzan, Shmuel, 2011. "Political culture and discrimination in contests," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 88-93.
  5. Yeon-Koo Che & Ian Gale, 2003. "Optimal Design of Research Contests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 646-671, June.
  6. Arye L. Hillman & John G. Riley, 1989. "Politically Contestable Rents And Transfers," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(1), pages 17-39, 03.
  7. Kovenock, D. & de Vries, C.G., 1995. "The All-Pay Auction with Complete Information," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 311.95, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  8. Rene Kirkegaard, 2008. "Favoritism in Contests: Head Starts and Handicaps," Working Papers 0805, Brock University, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2008.
  9. Stein, William E, 2002. " Asymmetric Rent-Seeking with More Than Two Contestants," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 113(3-4), pages 325-36, December.
  10. Gil S. Epstein & Yosef Mealem & Shmuel Nitzan, 2013. "Lotteries vs. All-Pay Auctions in Fair and Biased Contests," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(1), pages 48-60, 03.
  11. Ron Siegel, 2010. "Asymmetric Contests with Conditional Investments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2230-60, December.
  12. Franke, Jörg, 2012. "Affirmative action in contest games," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 105-118.
  13. Fang, Hanming, 2002. " Lottery versus All-Pay Auction Models of Lobbying," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 112(3-4), pages 351-71, September.
  14. 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.
  15. Qiang Fu, 2006. "A Theory of Affirmative Action in College Admissions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 44(3), pages 420-428, July.
  16. Jörg Franke & Christian Kanzow & Wolfgang Leininger & Alexandra Schwartz, 2013. "Effort maximization in asymmetric contest games with heterogeneous contestants," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 52(2), pages 589-630, March.
  17. Richard L. Fullerton & R. Preston McAfee, 1999. "Auctioning Entry into Tournaments," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 573-605, June.
  18. Konrad, Kai A., 2009. "Strategy and Dynamics in Contests," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199549603, March.
  19. Ian Gale & Mark Stegeman, 1994. "Exclusion in all-pay auctions," Working Paper 9401, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  20. Fu, Qiang & Lu, Jingfeng, 2006. "Contest design and optimal endogenous entry," MPRA Paper 945, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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