Research Articles

Economic Theory

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 283-290

First online:

Contest success functions

  • Stergios SkaperdasAffiliated withDepartment of Economics, University of California

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Summary

Tournaments, conflict, and rent-seeking have been modelled as contests in which participants exert effort to increase their probability of winning a prize. A Contest Success Function (CSF) provides each player's probability of winning as a function of all players' efforts. In this paper the additive CSF employed in most contests is axiomatized, with an independence from irrelevant alternatives property as the key axiom. Two frequently used functional forms are also axiomatized: one in which winning probabilities depend on the ratio of players' efforts and the other in which winning probabilities depend on the difference in efforts.

JEL Classification Numbers

C70 D72 D74