Experimental Research on Contests

15 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2018

Date Written: October 3, 2018

Abstract

Costly competitions between economic agents are modeled as contests. Researchers use laboratory experiments to study contests and test comparative static predictions of contest theory. Commonly, researchers find that participants’ efforts are significantly higher than predicted by the standard Nash equilibrium. Despite overbidding, most comparative static predictions, such as the incentive effect, the size effect, the discouragement effect and others are supported in the laboratory. In addition, experimental studies examine various contest structures, including dynamic contests (such as multi-stage races, wars of attrition, tug-of-wars), multi-dimensional contests (such as Colonel Blotto games), and contests between groups. This article provides a short review of such studies.

Keywords: Contest; All-pay auction; Tournament; Dynamic Contest; Multi-battle Contest; Multi-dimensional Contest; Group Contest; Rent-seeking; Experiment; Overbidding; Over-dissipation; Incentive Effect; Size Effect; Discouragement Effect; Strategic Momentum

JEL Classification: C7; C9; D4; D7; D9; H4; L2; J4; K4; L2; M5

Suggested Citation

Sheremeta, Roman M., Experimental Research on Contests (October 3, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3260263 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3260263

Roman M. Sheremeta (Contact Author)

Case Western Reserve University ( email )

10900 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44106
United States

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