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Top Guns May Not Fire: Best-Shot Group Contests with Group-Specific Public Good Prizes

  • Subhasish M. Chowdhury

    ()

    (School of Economics, University of East Anglia)

  • Dongryul Lee

    (School of Technology Management, UNIST)

  • Roman M. Sheremeta

    (Argyros School of Business and Economics, Chapman University)

We analyze a group contest in which n groups compete to win a group-specific public good prize. Group sizes can be different and any individual player may value the prize differently within and across groups. Players expend costly efforts simultaneously and independently. Only the highest effort (the best-shot) within each group represents the group effort and the winning group is determined by a contest success function. We fully characterize the set of equilibria and show that in any equilibrium at most one player in each group exerts strictly positive effort. There always exists an equilibrium in which only the highest value player in each active group expends positive effort and the contest is reduced to an individual contest between individual players. However, there may also be equilibria in which the highest value players completely free ride on others by exerting no effort. We provide conditions under which this can be avoided and discuss contest design implications.

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Paper provided by School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. in its series University of East Anglia Applied and Financial Economics Working Paper Series with number 024.

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Date of creation: 15 Mar 2011
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Handle: RePEc:uea:aepppr:2011_24
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Order Information: Postal: Helen Chapman, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK
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  1. Subhashish Modak Chowdhury & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2010. "Multiple equilibria in Tullock contests," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 10-12, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  2. Cason, Timothy & Sheremeta, Roman & Zhang, Jingjing, 2012. "Communication and Efficiency in Competitive Coordination Games," MPRA Paper 52107, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Bliss, Christopher & Nalebuff, Barry, 1984. "Dragon-slaying and ballroom dancing: The private supply of a public good," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 1-12, November.
  4. Konrad, Kai A. & Kovenock, Dan, 2006. "Multi-battle contests," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 122, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  5. Roman Sheremeta & Jingjing Zhang, 2010. "Can groups solve the problem of over-bidding in contests?," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 175-197, July.
  6. Klaus Abbink & Jordi Brandts & Benedikt Herrmann & Henrik Orzen, 2007. "Inter-Group Conflict and Intra-Group Punishment in an Experimental Contest Game," Discussion Papers 2007-15, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  7. Kyung Baik, 2008. "Contests with group-specific public-good prizes," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 103-117, January.
  8. Stein, William E, 2002. " Asymmetric Rent-Seeking with More Than Two Contestants," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 113(3-4), pages 325-36, December.
  9. Barr, Nicholas, 2004. "Economics of the Welfare State," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 4, number 9780199264971, March.
  10. Dechenaux, Emmanuel & Kovenock, Dan & Sheremeta, Roman, 2014. "A Survey of Experimental Research on Contests, All-Pay Auctions and Tournaments," MPRA Paper 59714, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Martin Kolmar & martin.kolmar@unisg.ch & Andreas Wagener, 2012. "Contests and the Private Production of Public Goods," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 161-179, July.
  12. Glen W. Harrison & Jack Hirshleifer, 1998. "An experimental evaluation of weakest link/best shot models of public goods," Levine's Working Paper Archive 299, David K. Levine.
  13. Ahn, T.K. & Isaac, R. Mark & Salmon, Timothy C., 2011. "Rent seeking in groups," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 116-125, January.
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  16. Baik, Kyung Hwan, 1993. "Effort levels in contests : The public-good prize case," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 363-367.
  17. Roman M. Sheremeta, 2011. "Perfect-Substitutes, Best-Shot, and Weakest-Link Contests between Groups," Korean Economic Review, Korean Economic Association, vol. 27, pages 5-32.
  18. Jack Hirshleifer, 1983. "From weakest-link to best-shot: The voluntary provision of public goods," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 371-386, January.
  19. Lee, Dongryul, 2012. "Weakest-link contests with group-specific public good prizes," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 238-248.
  20. Paolo Pin & Luca Dall'Asta & Abolfazl Ramezanpour, 2009. "Optimal Equilibria of the Best Shot Game," Working Papers 2009.33, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  21. Deck, Cary & Sheremeta, Roman, 2012. "Fight or Flight?," MPRA Paper 52130, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  22. Cornes, Richard, 1993. "Dyke Maintenance and Other Stories: Some Neglected Types of Public Goods," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(1), pages 259-71, February.
  23. Bergstrom, Theodore & Blume, Lawrence & Varian, Hal, 1986. "On the private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-49, February.
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  25. Baik, Kyung Hwan & Kim, In-Gyu & Na, Sunghyun, 2001. "Bidding for a group-specific public-good prize," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 415-429, December.
  26. Katz, Eliakim & Nitzan, Shmuel & Rosenberg, Jacob, 1990. " Rent-Seeking for Pure Public Goods," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 65(1), pages 49-60, April.
  27. Johannes Münster, 2009. "Group contest success functions," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 345-357, November.
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