Economic Theory

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 139–149 | Cite as

Generalized contest success functions

Open Access
Research Article


The key element of models of contest is the contest success function (CSF) which specifies the winning probabilities of agents. The existing axiomatizations of CSFs assume that contestants can make only one type of investment. This paper generalizes these axiomatizations to the case where each agent can have multiple types of investments. This allows us to provide a unified framework to extend and interpret the results of Skaperdas (Econ Theory 7:283–290, 1996) and Clark and Riis (Econ Theory 11:201–204, 1998), and rationalize some seemingly ad hoc CSFs used by applied researchers.


Contest Tournaments Conflict Rent Seeking Axiomatization 

JEL Classification

C70 D72 D74 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Max Planck Institute of EconomicsJenaGermany
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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