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Contests with Multi-tasking*

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  • *

    We should like to thank two anonymous referees and seminar participants at the University of Tromsø for comments on an early draft, and especially Espen Sirnes for performing the numerical simulations. Clark acknowledges financial support from the Research Council of Norway (Project 172603/V10) and Konrad acknowledges support from the German Science Foundation (DFG grant SFB-TR-15). Errors are our own.

Abstract

The standard contest model in which participants compete in a single dimension is well understood and documented. Multi-dimension extensions are possible but are liable to increase the complexity of the contest structure, mitigating one of its main advantages: simplicity. In this paper we propose an extension in which competition ensues in several dimensions, and a competitor that wins a certain number of these is awarded a prize. The amount of information needed to run the contest is hence limited to the number of dimensions won by each player. We look at the design of this contest from the point of view of maximising effort in the contest (per dimension and totally), and show that there will be a tendency to run small contests with few dimensions. The standard Tullock model and its results are encompassed by our framework.

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