Strategy and Dynamics in Contests

Paperback | May 3, 2009

byKai A. Konrad

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This book describes the theory structure underlying contests, in which players expend effort and/or spend money in trying to get ahead of one another. Uniquely, this effort is sunk and cannot be recovered, regardless of whether a player wins or loses in the competition. Such interactionsinclude diverse phenomena such as marketing and advertising by firms, litigation, relative reward schemes in firms, political competition, patent races, sports, military combat, war and civil war. These have been studied in the field of contest theory both within these specific contexts and at ahigher level of abstraction. The purpose of this book is to describe the fundamental common properties of these types of interactions and to uncover some common properties or laws that govern them. The book begins by describing the properties of static contests and tournaments. Aspects such as timing, entry, sabotage anddelegation are added and contest design issues such as the admission or exclusion of players and the structure of prizes are discussed. Further, structures are analysed in which players interact repeatedly in the same or different contest environments. Examples are inter-group conflict followed byintra-group rivalry, elimination tournaments and other dynamic contest structures.

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This book describes the theory structure underlying contests, in which players expend effort and/or spend money in trying to get ahead of one another. Uniquely, this effort is sunk and cannot be recovered, regardless of whether a player wins or loses in the competition. Such interactionsinclude diverse phenomena such as marketing and a...

Kai A. Konrad completed his Ph.D. in Economics in 1990 at the University of Munich. He has held teaching and research positions at the universities of Munich, Bonn and Bergen and at the University of California, Irvine. He currently holds a chair in Public Finance at the Free University of Berlin and is also a Director of a research u...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pagesPublished:May 3, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199549605

ISBN - 13:9780199549603

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements1. An Introduction to Contests1.1 A definition1.2 Examples1.3 The structure of the book2. Types of Contests2.1 The first-price all-pay auction2.2 Additive noise2.3 The Tullock contest2.4 Experimental evidence2.5 Evolutionary success2.6 Summary3. Timing and Participation3.1 Endogenous timing3.2 Voluntary participation3.3 Exclusion3.4 Delegation3.5 Summary4. Cost and prize structure4.1 Choice of cost4.2 The structure of prizes4.3 Endogenous prizes4.4 Summary5. Externalities5.1 State lotteries and financing public goods5.2 A loser's preference about who wins5.3 Personnel economics and sabotage5.4 Information externalities and campaigning5.5 Inter-group contests and free riding5.6 Conclusions6. Nested contests6.1 Exogenous sharing rules6.2 The choice of sharing rules6.3 Intra-group conflict6.4 A strategy of analysis of nested contests7. Alliances7.1 The alliance formation puzzle7.2 Solutions to the alliance formation puzzle7.3 Summary8. Dynamic battles8.1 The elimination tournament8.2 The race8.3 The tug-of-war8.4 Iterating incumbency fights8.5 Endogenous fighting8.6 Summary: the discouragement effect9. Conclusions