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Repeated contests with asymmetric information
[Wiederholte Wettkämpfe mit asymmetrischer Information]

  • Münster, Johannes
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    The same contestants often meet repeatedly in contests. Behavior in a contest potentially provides information with regard to one's type and can therefore influence the behavior of the opponents in later contests. This paper shows that if effort is observable, this can induce a ratchet effect in contests: high ability contestants sometimes put in little effort in an early round in order to make the opponents believe that they are of little ability. The effect reduces overall effort and increases equilibrium utility of the contestants when compared with two unrelated one-shot contests. It does, however, also introduce an allocative inefficiency since sometimes a contestant with a low valuation wins. The model assumes an imperfectly discriminating contest. In extension I show that, qualitatively, results are similar in a perfectly discriminating contest (all pay auction).

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    Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance with number SP II 2008-08.

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    Date of creation: 2008
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbmpg:spii200808
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    1. 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.
    2. Blume, Andreas & Heidhues, Paul, 2006. "Private monitoring in auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 131(1), pages 179-211, November.
    3. Lim, Wooyoung & Matros, Alexander, 2009. "Contests with a stochastic number of players," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 584-597, November.
    4. Krahmer, Daniel, 2007. "Equilibrium learning in simple contests," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 105-131, April.
    5. Johannes Münster, 2006. "Contests with an unknown number of contestants," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 129(3), pages 353-368, December.
    6. Margaret A. MEYER, 1992. "Biased Contests and Moral Hazard: Implications for Career Profiles," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 25-26, pages 165-187.
    7. Stergios Skaperdas, 2003. "Restraining the Genuine Homo Economicus: Why the Economy Cannot be Divorced from its Governance," CESifo Working Paper Series 901, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. Yeon-Koo Che & Ian Gale, 2003. "Optimal Design of Research Contests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 646-671, June.
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    10. Nitzan, Shmuel, 1994. "Modelling rent-seeking contests," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 41-60, May.
    11. Rosen, Sherwin, 1986. "Prizes and Incentives in Elimination Tournaments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 701-15, September.
    12. 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.
    13. Mehlum, Halvor & Moene, Karl, 2005. "Fighting against the odds," Memorandum 03/2005, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
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    18. repec:bla:restud:v:74:y:2007:i:1:p:173-206 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Roger Myerson & Karl Wärneryd, 2006. "Population uncertainty in contests," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 469-474, January.
    20. Hurley, Terrance M. & Shogren, Jason F., 1998. "Asymmetric information contests," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 645-665, November.
    21. Matthew O. Jackson & Leo K. Simon & Jeroen M. Swinkels & William R. Zame, 2002. "Communication and Equilibrium in Discontinuous Games of Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 1711-1740, September.
    22. Slantchev, Branislav L., 2010. "Feigning Weakness," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 64(03), pages 357-388, July.
    23. Baye, Michael R. & Hoppe, Heidrun C., 2003. "The strategic equivalence of rent-seeking, innovation, and patent-race games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 217-226, August.
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    25. Thomas D. Jeitschko & Elmar Wolfstetter, 2002. "Scale Economies and the Dynamics of Recurring Auctions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 40(3), pages 403-414, July.
    26. Meyer, Margaret A, 1991. "Learning from Coarse Information: Biased Contests and Career Profiles," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(1), pages 15-41, January.
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