A Survey of Experimental Research on Contests, All-Pay Auctions and Tournaments

96 Pages Posted: 29 Sep 2012 Last revised: 17 Dec 2012

Emmanuel Dechenaux

Kent State University - Department of Economics

Dan Kovenock

Chapman University - Economic Science Institute; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Roman M. Sheremeta

Case Western Reserve University

Date Written: September 28, 2012

Abstract

Many economic, political and social environments can be described as contests in which agents exert costly efforts while competing over the distribution of a scarce resource. These environments have been studied using Tullock contests, all-pay auctions and rank-order tournaments. This survey provides a review of experimental research on these three canonical contests. First, we review studies investigating the basic structure of contests, including the contest success function, number of players and prizes, spillovers and externalities, heterogeneity, and incomplete information. Second, we discuss dynamic contests and multi-battle contests. Then we review research on sabotage, feedback, bias, collusion, alliances, and contests between groups, as well as real-effort and field experiments. Finally, we discuss applications of contests to the study of legal systems, political competition, war, conflict avoidance, sales, and charities, and suggest directions for future research.

Keywords: contests, all-pay auctions, tournaments, experiments

JEL Classification: C7, C9, D7, H4, J4, J7, K4, L2, M5

Suggested Citation

Dechenaux, Emmanuel and Kovenock, Dan and Sheremeta, Roman M., A Survey of Experimental Research on Contests, All-Pay Auctions and Tournaments (September 28, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2154022 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2154022

Emmanuel Dechenaux

Kent State University - Department of Economics ( email )

Kent, OH 44242
United States

Daniel Kovenock

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.CESifo.de

Chapman University - Economic Science Institute ( email )

One University Dr.
Orange, CA 92866
United States

Roman M. Sheremeta (Contact Author)

Case Western Reserve University ( email )

10900 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44106
United States

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