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Competition amongst contests

Author

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  • Ghazala Azmat
  • Marc Möller

Abstract

This article analyses the allocation of prizes in contests. While existing models consider a single contest with an exogenously given set of players, in our model several contests compete for participants. As a consequence, prizes not only induce incentive effects but also participation effects. We show that contests that aim to maximize players’ aggregate effort will award their entire prize budget to the winner. In contrast, multiple prizes will be awarded in contests that aim to maximize participation and the share of the prize budget awarded to the winner increases in the contests’ randomness. We also provide empirical evidence for this relationship using data from professional road running. In addition, we show that prize structures might be used to screen between players of differing ability.

Suggested Citation

  • Ghazala Azmat & Marc Möller, 2008. "Competition amongst contests," Economics Working Papers 1072, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1072
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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. Nti, Kofi O, 1997. "Comparative Statics of Contests and Rent-Seeking Games," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(1), pages 43-59, February.
    3. Moldovanu, Benny & Sela, Aner & Shi, Xianwen, 2008. "Competing auctions with endogenous quantities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 141(1), pages 1-27, July.
    4. Moldovanu, Benny & Sela, Aner, 2006. "Contest architecture," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 126(1), pages 70-96, January.
    5. Benny Moldovanu & Aner Sela & Xianwen Shi, 2007. "Contests for Status," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 338-363.
    6. Klemperer, Paul, 2002. "How (not) to run auctions: The European 3G telecom auctions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 829-845, May.
    7. Szymanski, Stefan & Valletti, Tommaso M., 2005. "Incentive effects of second prizes," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 467-481, June.
    8. Green, Jerry R & Stokey, Nancy L, 1983. "A Comparison of Tournaments and Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(3), pages 349-364, June.
    9. McAfee, R Preston, 1993. "Mechanism Design by Competing Sellers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(6), pages 1281-1312, November.
    10. Burguet, Roberto & Sakovics, Jozsef, 1999. "Imperfect Competition in Auction Designs," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(1), pages 231-247, February.
    11. Dilip Mookherjee, 1984. "Optimal Incentive Schemes with Many Agents," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(3), pages 433-446.
    12. 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.
    13. Taylor, Curtis R, 1995. "Digging for Golden Carrots: An Analysis of Research Tournaments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 872-890, September.
    14. Peters, Michael & Severinov, Sergei, 1997. "Competition among Sellers Who Offer Auctions Instead of Prices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 141-179, July.
    15. 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.
    16. James G. Lynch & Jeffrey S. Zax, 2000. "The Rewards to Running," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 1(4), pages 323-340, November.
    17. 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.
    18. Clark, Derek J & Riis, Christian, 1998. "Competition over More Than One Prize," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 276-289, March.
    19. Chen Cohen & Todd R. Kaplan & Aner Sela, 2008. "Optimal rewards in contests," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(2), pages 434-451.
    20. Barry J. Nalebuff & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1983. "Prices and Incentives: Towards a General Theory of Compensation and Competition," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(1), pages 21-43, Spring.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:mateco:v:74:y:2018:i:c:p:21-34 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Bernergård, Axel & Wärneryd, Karl, 2017. "Self-Allocation in Contests," SSE Working Paper Series in Economics 2017:2, Stockholm School of Economics.
    3. Linnemer, Laurent & Visser, Michael, 2016. "Self-selection in tournaments: The case of chess players," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 126(PA), pages 213-234.
    4. Ghazala Azmat & Marc Möller, 2012. "The distribution of talent across contests," Economics Working Papers 1298, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised May 2013.
    5. Leuven, Edwin & Oosterbeek, Hessel & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2010. "Splitting Tournaments," IZA Discussion Papers 5186, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Dahm, Matthias & Esteve, Patrícia,, 2013. "Affirmative Action through Extra Prizes," Working Papers 2072/222197, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
    7. John Morgan & Dana Sisak & Felix Vardy, 2012. "On the Merits of Meritocracy," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-077/1, Tinbergen Institute.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Contests; allocation of prizes; participation;

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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