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Why the Olympics have three prizes and not just one


Blavatskyy, Pavlo R (2004). Why the Olympics have three prizes and not just one. Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics No. 200, University of Zurich.

Abstract

There are at least two reasons why multiple prizes can be optimal in symmetric imperfectly discriminating contests. First, the introduction of multiple prizes reduces the standard deviation of contestants' effort in asymmetric equilibria, when the majority of contestants actively participate in competition. Second, the introduction of multiple prizes may increase the aggregate (average) effort contributed in the contest. When more of a total prize fund is shifted away from the first prize, on the one hand, the active contestants obtain an incentive to reduce their individual effort, but, on the other hand, the number of active contestants may increase. Therefore, the aggregate (average) effort may increase when the number of active contestants in equilibrium increases.

Abstract

There are at least two reasons why multiple prizes can be optimal in symmetric imperfectly discriminating contests. First, the introduction of multiple prizes reduces the standard deviation of contestants' effort in asymmetric equilibria, when the majority of contestants actively participate in competition. Second, the introduction of multiple prizes may increase the aggregate (average) effort contributed in the contest. When more of a total prize fund is shifted away from the first prize, on the one hand, the active contestants obtain an incentive to reduce their individual effort, but, on the other hand, the number of active contestants may increase. Therefore, the aggregate (average) effort may increase when the number of active contestants in equilibrium increases.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Working Paper Series > Institute for Empirical Research in Economics (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:August 2004
Deposited On:29 Nov 2011 22:32
Last Modified:12 Aug 2017 12:56
Series Name:Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics
ISSN:1424-0459
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/wp.html

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