Economic Theory

, Volume 51, Issue 2, pp 315–350 | Cite as

Contests with rank-order spillovers

  • Michael R. Baye
  • Dan KovenockEmail author
  • Casper G. de Vries
Open Access


This paper presents a unified framework for characterizing symmetric equilibrium in simultaneous move, two-player, rank-order contests with complete information, in which each player’s strategy generates direct or indirect affine “spillover” effects that depend on the rank-order of her decision variable. These effects arise in natural interpretations of a number of important economic environments, as well as in classic contests adapted to recent experimental and behavioral models where individuals exhibit inequality aversion or regret. We provide the closed-form solution for the symmetric Nash equilibria of this class of games, and show how it can be used to directly solve for equilibrium behavior in auctions, pricing games, tournaments, R&D races, models of litigation, and a host of other contests.


Contests Auctions Spillovers 

JEL Classification

C72 C73 D43 D44 D74 


Open Access

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2009

Open AccessThis is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License (, which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael R. Baye
    • 1
  • Dan Kovenock
    • 2
    Email author
  • Casper G. de Vries
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Business Economics and Public PolicyIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA
  3. 3.Erasmus School of EconomicsErasmus University RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands

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