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Prizes and Lemons: Procurement of Innovation under Imperfect Commitment

  • Ding, Wei
  • Wolfstetter, Elmar G.

The literature on R&D contests implicitly assumes that contestants submit their innovation regardless of its value. This ignores a potential adverse selection problem. The present paper analyzes the procurement of innovations when the procurer cannot commit to never bargain with innovators who bypass the contest. We compare ?xed-prize tournaments with and without entry fees, and optimal scoring auctions with and without minimum score requirement. Our main result is that the optimal ?xed-prize tournament is more pro?table than the optimal auction since preventing bypass is more costly in the optimal auction.

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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 262.

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Date of creation: Jun 2009
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Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:262
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