IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Contests with Investment

  • Münster, Johannes
Registered author(s):

    Perfectly discriminating contests (or all pay auction) are widely used as a model of situations where individuals devote resources to win some prize. In reality such contests are often preceded by investments of the contestants into their ability to fight in the contest. This paper studies a two stage game where in the first stage, players can invest to lower their bid cost in a perfectly discriminating contest, which is played in the second stage. Different assumptions on the timing of investment are studied. With simultaneous investments, equilibria in which players play a pure strategy in the investment stage are asymmetric, exhibit incomplete rent dissipation, and expected effort is reduced relative to the game without investment. There also are symmetric mixed strategy equilibria with complete rent dissipation. With sequential investment, the first mover always invests enough to deter the second mover from investing, and enjoys a first mover advantage. I also look at unobservable investments and endogenous timing of investments.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich in its series Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems with number 120.

    in new window

    Date of creation: May 2006
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:120
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1, D-80539 Munich, Germany
    Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-3405
    Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-3510
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Konrad, Kai A., 2004. "Bidding in hierarchies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(6), pages 1301-1308, December.
    2. Groh, Christian & Moldovanu, Benny & Sela, Aner & Sunde, Uwe, 2012. "Optimal seedings in elimination tournaments," Munich Reprints in Economics 20441, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    3. Leandro Arozamena & Estelle Cantillon, 2004. "Investment Incentives in Procurement Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(1), pages 1-18, 01.
    4. Arye L. Hillman & John G. Riley, 1987. "Politically Contestable Rents and Transfers," UCLA Economics Working Papers 452, UCLA Department of Economics.
    5. Krahmer, Daniel & Strausz, Roland, 2007. "VCG mechanisms and efficient ex ante investments with externalities," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 192-196, February.
    6. Baye, M. & Kovenock, D. & de Vries, C., 1990. "The All-Pay Auction with Complete Information," Discussion Paper 1990-51, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    7. Arye Hillman & Dov Samet, 1987. "Dissipation of contestable rents by small numbers of contenders," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 54(1), pages 63-82, January.
    8. Taylor, Curtis R, 1995. "Digging for Golden Carrots: An Analysis of Research Tournaments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 872-90, September.
    9. Yeon-Koo Che & Ian Gale, 2000. "Optimal Design of Research Contests," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1784, Econometric Society.
    10. Hamilton, J.H. & Slutsky, S.M., 1988. "Endogenous Timing In Duopoly Games: Stackelberg Or Cournot Equilibria," Papers 88-4, Florida - College of Business Administration.
    11. Gil S. Epstein & Carsten Hefeker, 2003. "Lobbying contests with alternative instruments," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 81-89, 04.
    12. Stephen M. Maurer & Suzanne Scotchmer, 2003. "Procuring Knowledge," NBER Working Papers 9903, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Erbenova, Michaela & Vagstad, Steinar, 1999. " Investors Facing Opportunistic Governments: Is It Really Good to "Know the Market" before Investing?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 101(3), pages 459-75, September.
    14. Baik, Kyung H & Shogren, Jason F, 1992. "Strategic Behavior in Contests: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 359-62, March.
    15. Maria Arbatskaya & Hugo Mialon, 2005. "Two-activity Contests," Emory Economics 0527, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
    16. Che, Yeon-Koo & Gale, Ian L, 1998. "Caps on Political Lobbying," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 643-51, June.
    17. Matthias Kräkel, 2002. "Delegation and strategic incentives for managers in contests," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(8), pages 461-470.
    18. Nitzan, Shmuel, 1994. "Modelling rent-seeking contests," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 41-60, May.
    19. Todd Kaplan, 2001. "All-Pay Auctions with Variable Rewards," Discussion Papers 0109, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
    20. Bag, Parimal Kanti, 1997. "Optimal auction design and R&D," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(9), pages 1655-1674, December.
    21. Nicolas Sahuguet & Nicola Persico, 2006. "Campaign spending regulation in a model of redistributive politics," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 95-124, 05.
    22. Yildirim, Huseyin, 2005. "Contests with multiple rounds," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 213-227, April.
    23. Ellingsen, T., 1990. "Strategic Buyers and the Social Cost of Monopoly," Papers 05-90, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration-.
    24. Roger Myerson & Karl Wärneryd, 2006. "Population uncertainty in contests," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 469-474, January.
    25. Hillman, Arye L & Katz, Eliakim, 1984. "Risk-Averse Rent Seekers and the Social Cost of Monopoly Power," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(373), pages 104-10, March.
    26. Schmalensee, Richard, 1976. "A Model of Promotional Competition in Oligopoly," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(3), pages 493-507, October.
    27. Stefan Szymanski, 2003. "The Economic Design of Sporting Contests," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1137-1187, December.
    28. Dixit, Avinash K, 1987. "Strategic Behavior in Contests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 891-98, December.
    29. 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.
    30. 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.
    31. Kaplan, T.R. & Luski, I. & Wettstein, D., 2000. "Innovative Activity and Sunk Cost," Discussion Papers 0006, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
    32. Piccione, Michele & Tan, Guofu, 1996. "Cost-Reducing Investment, Optimal Procurement and Implementation by Auctions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(3), pages 663-85, August.
    33. Konrad, Kai A., 2000. "Trade contests," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 317-334, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:120. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Tamilla Benkelberg)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.