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Rent-seeking Contests under Symmetric and Asymmetric Information

  • Wasser, Cédric

We consider a variant of the Tullock rent-seeking contest. Under symmetric information we determine equilibrium strategies and prove their uniqueness. Then, we assume contestants to be privately informed about their costs of effort. We prove existence of a pure-strategy equilibrium and provide a sufficient condition for uniqueness. Comparing different informational settings we find that if players are uncertain about the costs of all players, aggregate effort is lower than under both private and complete information. Yet, under additional assumptions, rent dissipation is still smaller in the latter settings. Numerical examples illustrate that there is no general ranking between private and complete information. The results depend on the distribution costs are drawn from and on the exact specification of the contest success function.

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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 311.

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Date of creation: Mar 2010
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Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:311
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  1. Ryvkin, Dmitry, 2010. "Contests with private costs: Beyond two players," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 558-567, December.
  2. Hurley, Terrance M. & Shogren, Jason F., 1998. "Effort levels in a Cournot Nash contest with asymmetric information," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 195-210, June.
  3. Mark Fey, 2008. "Rent-seeking contests with incomplete information," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 135(3), pages 225-236, June.
  4. Arye L. Hillman & John G. Riley, 1987. "Politically Contestable Rents and Transfers," UCLA Economics Working Papers 452, UCLA Department of Economics.
  5. 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.
  6. Krishna, Vijay & Morgan, John, 1997. "An Analysis of the War of Attrition and the All-Pay Auction," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 343-362, February.
  7. Athey, Susan, 2001. "Single Crossing Properties and the Existence of Pure Strategy Equilibria in Games of Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 861-89, July.
  8. Hurley, Terrance M. & Shogren, Jason F., 1998. "Asymmetric information contests," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 645-665, November.
  9. Richard Cornes & Roger Hartley, 2002. "Asymmetric Contests with General Technologies," Keele Economics Research Papers KERP 2002/22, Centre for Economic Research, Keele University.
  10. Nti, Kofi O, 1999. " Rent-Seeking with Asymmetric Valuations," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(3-4), pages 415-30, March.
  11. Christian Ewerhart, 2010. "Rent-seeking contests with independent private values," IEW - Working Papers 490, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  12. Skaperdas, Stergios, 1996. "Contest Success Functions," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 283-90, February.
  13. J. Amegashie, 2006. "A contest success function with a tractable noise parameter," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 126(1), pages 135-144, January.
  14. 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.
  15. Konrad, Kai A., 2009. "Strategy and Dynamics in Contests," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199549603, March.
  16. Morath, Florian & Münster, Johannes, 2008. "Private versus complete information in auctions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(3), pages 214-216, December.
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