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The optimal prize structure of symmetric Tullock contests

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  • Schweinzer, Paul
  • Segev, Ella

Abstract

We show that the optimal prize structure of symmetric n-player Tullock tournaments assigns the entire prize pool to the winner, provided that a symmetric pure strategy equilibrium exists. If such an equilibrium fails to exist under the winner-take-all structure, we construct the optimal prize structure which improves existence conditions by dampening efforts. If no such optimal equilibrium exists, no symmetric pure strategy equilibrium induces positive efforts.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:250
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Richard Cornes & Roger Hartley, 2005. "Asymmetric contests with general technologies," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 26(4), pages 923-946, November.
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    4. Barut, Yasar & Kovenock, Dan, 1998. "The symmetric multiple prize all-pay auction with complete information," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 627-644, November.
    5. Clark, Derek J & Riis, Christian, 1996. "A Multi-winner Nested Rent-Seeking Contest," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 87(1-2), pages 177-184, April.
    6. 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.
    7. Baye, M.R. & Kovenock, D. & De Vries, C.G., 1993. "The Solution to the Tullock Rent-Seeking Game when R > 2: Mixed Strategy Equilibria and Mean Dissipation Rates," Papers 10-93-9, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
    8. Szidarovszky, Ferenc & Okuguchi, Koji, 1997. "On the Existence and Uniqueness of Pure Nash Equilibrium in Rent-Seeking Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 135-140, January.
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    10. Ron Siegel, 2009. "All-Pay Contests," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(1), pages 71-92, January.
    11. Gershkov, Alex & Perry, Motty, 2009. "Tournaments with midterm reviews," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 162-190, May.
    12. Szymanski, Stefan & Valletti, Tommaso M., 2005. "Incentive effects of second prizes," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 467-481, June.
    13. 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.
    14. Stergios Skaperdas, 1996. "Contest success functions (*)," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 7(2), pages 283-290.
    15. 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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tournaments; Incentive structures; Rent seeking;

    JEL classification:

    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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