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Contest Architecture (jointly with Benny Moldovanu)

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BEST-OF-THREE ALL-PAY AUCTIONS

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We study a three-stage all-pay auction with two players in which the ?rst player to win two matches wins the best-of-three all-pay auction. The players have values of winning the contest and may have also values of losing, the latter depending on the stage in which the contest is decided. It is shown that without values of losing, if players are...

We study a three-stage all-pay auction with two players in which the ?rst player to win two matches wins the best-of-three all-pay auction. The players have values of winning the contest and may have also values of losing, the latter depending on the stage in which the contest is decided. It is shown that without values of losing, if players are heterogenous (they have di¤erent values) the best-of-three all-pay auction is less competitive (the di¤erence between the players?probabilities to win is larger) as well as less productive (the players?total expected e¤ort is smaller) than the one-stage all-pay auction. If players are homogenous, however, the productivity and obviously the competitiveness of the best-of-three all-pay auction and the one-stage all-pay auction are identical. These results hold even if players have values of losing that do not depend on the stage in which the contest is decided. However, the best-of-three all-pay auction with di¤erent values of losing over the contest?s stages may be more productive than the one-stage all-pay auction. Minimize

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Fictitious play in `one-against-all' multi-player games

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A compound game is an (n + 1) player game based on n two-person subgames. In each of these subgames player 0 plays against one of the other players. Player 0 is regulated, so that he must choose the same strategy in all n subgames. We show that every fictitious play process approaches the set of equilibria in compound games for which all subgame...

A compound game is an (n + 1) player game based on n two-person subgames. In each of these subgames player 0 plays against one of the other players. Player 0 is regulated, so that he must choose the same strategy in all n subgames. We show that every fictitious play process approaches the set of equilibria in compound games for which all subgames are either zero-sum games, potential games, or $2\times 2$ games. ; Learning, Fictitious play, Zero-sum games, Potential games. Minimize

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Contests with Ties

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We study two-player all-pay contests in which there is a positive probability of a tied outcome. We show that the players' efforts in equilibrium do not depend on the expected prize in the case of a tie given that this prize is smaller than the prize for winning. The implications of this result are twofold. First, in symmetric one-stage contests...

We study two-player all-pay contests in which there is a positive probability of a tied outcome. We show that the players' efforts in equilibrium do not depend on the expected prize in the case of a tie given that this prize is smaller than the prize for winning. The implications of this result are twofold. First, in symmetric one-stage contests, the designer who wishes to maximize the expected total effort should not award a prize in the case of a tie which is larger than one-third of the prize for winning. Second, in multi-stage contests, the designer should not limit the number of stages (tie-breaks) but should allow the contest to continue until a winner is decided. ; contests, all-pay auctions Minimize

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Contests with Ties

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We study two-player all-pay contests in which there is a positive probability of a tied outcome. We show that the players' efforts in equilibrium do not depend on the expected prize in the case of a tie given that this prize is smaller than the prize for winning. The implications of this result are twofold. First, in symmetric one-stage contests...

We study two-player all-pay contests in which there is a positive probability of a tied outcome. We show that the players' efforts in equilibrium do not depend on the expected prize in the case of a tie given that this prize is smaller than the prize for winning. The implications of this result are twofold. First, in symmetric one-stage contests, the designer who wishes to maximize the expected total effort should not award a prize in the case of a tie which is larger than one-third of the prize for winning. Second, in multi-stage contests, the designer should not limit the number of stages (tie-breaks) but should allow the contest to continue until a winner is decided. ; contests, all-pay auctions Minimize

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A 2 ×2 Game without the Fictitious Play Property

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Sequential All-Pay Auctions with Head Starts and Noisy Outputs

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We study a sequential (Stackelberg) all-pay auction with two contestants who are privately informed about a parameter (ability) that affects their cost of effort. Contestant 1 (the fi?rst mover) exerts an effort in the fi?rst period, while contestant 2 (the second mover) observes the effort of contestant 1 and then exerts an effort in the second...

We study a sequential (Stackelberg) all-pay auction with two contestants who are privately informed about a parameter (ability) that affects their cost of effort. Contestant 1 (the fi?rst mover) exerts an effort in the fi?rst period, while contestant 2 (the second mover) observes the effort of contestant 1 and then exerts an effort in the second period. Contestant 2 wins the contest if his effort is larger than or equal to the effort of contestant 1; otherwise, contestant 1 wins. We characterize the unique subgame perfect equilibrium of this sequential all-pay auction and analyze the use of head starts to improve the contestants' performances. We also study this model when contestant 1 exerts an effort in the fi?rst period which translates into an observable output but with some noise. We study two variations of this model where contestant 1 either knows or does not know the realization of the noise before she chooses her effort. Contestant 2 does not know the realization of the noise in both variations. For both variations, we characterize the subgame perfect equilibrium and investigate the effect of a random noise on the contestants' performance. ; Sequential all-pay auctions, head starts, noisy outputs. Minimize

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ALLOCATION OF PRIZES IN CONTESTS WITH PARTICIPATION CONSTRAINTS

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We study all-pay contests with an exogenous minimal effort constraint where a player can participate in a contest only if his effort (output) is equal to or higher than the minimal effort constraint. Contestants are privately informed about a parameter (ability) that affects their cost of effort. The designer decides about the size and the numbe...

We study all-pay contests with an exogenous minimal effort constraint where a player can participate in a contest only if his effort (output) is equal to or higher than the minimal effort constraint. Contestants are privately informed about a parameter (ability) that affects their cost of effort. The designer decides about the size and the number of prizes. We analyze the optimal prize allocation for the contest designer who wishes to maximize either the total effort or the highest effort. It is shown that if the minimal effort constraint is relatively high, the winner-take-all contest in which the contestant with the highest effort wins the entire prize sum does not maximize the expected total effort nor the expected highest effort. In that case, the random contest in which the entire prize sum is equally allocated to all the participants yields a higher expected total effort as well as a higher expected highest effort than the winner-take-all contest. ; Winner-take-all contests, all-pay auctions, participation constraints. Minimize

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ROUND-ROBIN TOURNAMENTS WITH EFFORT CONSTRAINTS

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We study a round-robin tournament with n symmetric players where in each of the n-1 stages each of the players competes against a different player in the Tullock contest. Each player has a limited budget of effort that decreases within the stages proportionally to the effort he exerted in the previous stages. We show that when the prize for winn...

We study a round-robin tournament with n symmetric players where in each of the n-1 stages each of the players competes against a different player in the Tullock contest. Each player has a limited budget of effort that decreases within the stages proportionally to the effort he exerted in the previous stages. We show that when the prize for winning (value of winning) is equal between the stages, a player's effort is weakly decreasing over the stages. We also show how the contest designer can influence the players' allocation of effort by changing the distribution of prizes between the stages. In particular, we analyze the distribution of prizes over the stages that balance the effort allocation such that a player exerts the same effort over the different stages. In addition, we analyze the distribution of prizes over the stages that maximizes the players' expected total effort. Minimize

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CAPS IN SEQUENTIAL CONTESTS

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We study a sequential two-stage all-pay auction with two identical prizes. In each stage, the players compete for one prize and each player may win either one or two prizes. The designer may impose a cap on the players' bids in each of the stages. We analyze the equilibrium in this sequential all-pay auction with bid caps and show that capping t...

We study a sequential two-stage all-pay auction with two identical prizes. In each stage, the players compete for one prize and each player may win either one or two prizes. The designer may impose a cap on the players' bids in each of the stages. We analyze the equilibrium in this sequential all-pay auction with bid caps and show that capping the players' bids is pro?table for a designer who wishes to maximize the players' expected total bid. ; Multi-stage contests, All-pay auctions, Bid caps Minimize

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