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"Reverse" Nested Lottery Contests

  • Qiang Fu

    ()

    (Department of Strategy and Policy, National University of Singapore)

  • Jingfeng Lu

    ()

    (Department of Economics, National University of Singapore)

  • Zhewei Wang

    ()

    (School of Economics, Shandong University)

This paper proposes a multi-prize "reverse" nested lottery contest model, which can be viewed as the "mirror image" of the conventional nested lottery contest of Clark and Riis (1996a). The reverse-lottery contest model determines winners by selecting losers based on contestants' one-shot effort through a hypothetical sequence of lotteries. We provide a microfoundation for the reverse-lottery contest from a perspective of (simultaneous) noisy performance ranking and establish that the model is underpinned by a unique performance evaluation rule. We further demonstrate that the noisy-ranking model can be interpreted intuitively as a "worst-shot" contest, in which contestants' performances are evaluated based on their most severe mistakes. The reverse-lottery contest model thus depicts a great variety of widely observed competitive activities of this nature. A handy closed-form solution for a symmetric equilibrium of the reverse-lottery contest is obtained. We show that the winner-take-all principle continues to hold in reverse-lottery contests. Moreover, we find that a reverse-lottery contest elicits more effort than a conventional lottery contest whenever the prizes available to contestants are relatively scarce.

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File URL: http://econ.sdu.edu.cn/RePEc/shn/wpaper/Reverse_Contests20130709.pdf
File Function: July, 2013
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by School of Economics, Shandong University in its series SDU Working Papers with number 2013-02.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:shn:wpaper:2013-02
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econ.sdu.edu.cn

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  1. Gradstein, Mark & Konrad, Kai A, 1999. "Orchestrating Rent Seeking Contests," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(458), pages 536-45, October.
  2. 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.
  3. Perez-Castrillo, J David & Verdier, Thierry, 1992. " A General Analysis of Rent-Seeking Games," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 73(3), pages 335-50, April.
  4. Rosen, Sherwin, 1986. "Prizes and Incentives in Elimination Tournaments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 701-15, September.
  5. Stergios Skaperdas, 1996. "Contest success functions (*)," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 283-290.
  6. 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.
  7. Christian Riis & Derek J. Clark, 1997. "Contest success functions: an extension," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 201-204.
  8. McFadden, Daniel, 1974. "The measurement of urban travel demand," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 303-328, November.
  9. Baye, Michael R. & Hoppe, Heidrun C., 2003. "The strategic equivalence of rent-seeking, innovation, and patent-race games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 217-226, August.
  10. Amegashie, J Atsu, 2000. " Some Results on Rent-Seeking Contests with Shortlisting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 105(3-4), pages 245-53, December.
  11. Clark, D.J. & Riis, C., 1996. "On the Win Probability in Rent-Seeking Gemes," Memorandum 05/1996, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  12. Hao Jia, 2008. "A stochastic derivation of the ratio form of contest success functions," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 135(3), pages 125-130, June.
  13. 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.
  14. Fu, Qiang & Lu, Jingfeng, 2009. "The beauty of "bigness": On optimal design of multi-winner contests," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 146-161, May.
  15. Schweinzer, Paul & Segev, Ella, 2008. "The optimal prize structure of symmetric Tullock contests," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 250, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  16. Szymanski, Stefan & Valletti, Tommaso M., 2005. "Incentive effects of second prizes," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 467-481, June.
  17. 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.
  18. Clark, Derek J & Riis, Christian, 1996. " A Multi-winner Nested Rent-Seeking Contest," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 87(1-2), pages 177-84, April.
  19. Konrad, Kai A., 2009. "Strategy and Dynamics in Contests," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199549603, March.
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