Special Issue "Advances in the Theory and Applications of Contests and Tournaments"

A special issue of Games (ISSN 2073-4336). This special issue belongs to the section "Market Design and Auctions".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2022 | Viewed by 2861

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Theofanis Tsoulouhas
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Professor of Financial Management, University of California, Merced, CA, USA
Interests: tournament theory; contract theory; economics of information; corporate governance

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The theory of contests and tournaments has come a long way over the last decade, so much so that it now is a major research branch in economic theory. The foundational theory has been enriched by analyzing optimal relative performance evaluation mechanisms under different informational and financial constraints in static and dynamic settings, by issues related to heterogeneity and group formation, and by extensive behavioral economics issues, to name just a few domains.

This Special Issue aims at pushing the envelope forward. We encourage the submission of papers underscoring recent advances in the theory and applications of cardinal and ordinal tournaments, along with Tullock-type contests. Building on established contributions as well as on the current momentum, we are interested in new, cutting-edge applications of tournament and contest theory, including behavioral and experimental economics applications. A few topic areas are highlighted below:

  • Prize structure and design of tournaments and contests
  • Contests with uncertain features
  • Dynamic tournaments
  • Repeated, multi-battle and nested contests
  • Group contests
  • Information disclosure in contests
  • Peer effects
  • Biased contests
  • Conflict networks
  • Coalition formation in contests
  • Innovation and patent contests
  • Gender and socio-economic differences
  • Rent-seeking and inequality
  • Corporate governance and contests

Prof. Dr. Theofanis Tsoulouhas
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Games is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • tournaments
  • contests
  • relative performance evaluation
  • contracts
  • economics of information
  • behavioral economics
  • experimental economics

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
Do Output-Dependent Prizes Alleviate the Sabotage Problem in Tournaments?
Games 2022, 13(5), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/g13050065 (registering DOI) - 30 Sep 2022
Viewed by 137
Abstract
We investigate whether tournament prizes that depend on joint output (“variable prize tournaments”) can alleviate the sabotage problem which is otherwise inherent in tournament structures. In a game-theoretical model with three contestants, we compare fixed-prize tournaments with tournaments where prizes depend on contestants’ [...] Read more.
We investigate whether tournament prizes that depend on joint output (“variable prize tournaments”) can alleviate the sabotage problem which is otherwise inherent in tournament structures. In a game-theoretical model with three contestants, we compare fixed-prize tournaments with tournaments where prizes depend on contestants’ joint output. Our analysis suggests that the incentives to sabotage in a fixed-prize tournament may be counteracted in a variable-prize tournament such that contestants no longer sabotage, but help one another. We empirically test the implications of our model with the help of a classroom experiment where we compare participants’ choices in a fixed-prize treatment () with those of a variable-prize treatment () in a between-subjects design. Given our parametrization, we expect efforts to be identical in both treatments, and we expect sabotage in the treatment and no sabotage in the treatment. In accordance with the model, we find that participants in the fixed-prize tournament sabotage one another, whereas participants in the variable-prize tournament help one another. At the same time, participants’ effort levels do not vary between the two treatments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Theory and Applications of Contests and Tournaments)
Article
Assortative Matching by Lottery Contests
Games 2022, 13(5), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/g13050064 - 29 Sep 2022
Viewed by 148
Abstract
We study two-sided matching contests with two sets, A and B, each of which includes a finite number of heterogeneous agents with commonly known types. The agents in each set compete in a lottery (Tullock) contest, and then are assortatively matched, namely, [...] Read more.
We study two-sided matching contests with two sets, A and B, each of which includes a finite number of heterogeneous agents with commonly known types. The agents in each set compete in a lottery (Tullock) contest, and then are assortatively matched, namely, the winner of set A is matched with the winner of set B and so on until all the agents in the set with the smaller number of agents are matched. Each agent has a match value that depends on their own type and the type of their match. We assume that the agents’ efforts do not affect their match values and that they have a positive effect on welfare. Therefore, an interior equilibrium in which at least some of the agents are active is welfare superior to a corner equilibrium in which the agents choose to be non-active. We analyze the conditions under which there exists a (partial) interior equilibrium where at least some of the agents compete against each other and exert positive efforts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Theory and Applications of Contests and Tournaments)
Article
Level-k Models and Overspending in Contests
Games 2022, 13(3), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/g13030045 - 10 Jun 2022
Viewed by 603
Abstract
The experimental evidence on contests often reports overspending of contest participants compared to the theoretical Nash equilibrium outcome. We show that a standard level-k model may rationalize overspending in contests. This result complements the existing literature on overspending in contests, and it [...] Read more.
The experimental evidence on contests often reports overspending of contest participants compared to the theoretical Nash equilibrium outcome. We show that a standard level-k model may rationalize overspending in contests. This result complements the existing literature on overspending in contests, and it bridges an open gap between the contest and auction literature. In fact, the literature on auctions often runs parallel to that on contests.Overbidding in auctions has also been documented empirically, and it has been shown that, in private-value auctions, such overbidding can be rationalized by level-k reasoning. We bridge the existing gap between the auction and contest literature by showing that overbidding may also be true in a theoretical contest environment with level-k reasoning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Theory and Applications of Contests and Tournaments)
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Article
Optimal Accuracy of Unbiased Tullock Contests with Two Heterogeneous Players
Games 2022, 13(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/g13020024 - 25 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1129
Abstract
I characterize the optimal accuracy level r of an unbiased Tullock contest between two players with heterogeneous prize valuations. The designer maximizes the winning probability of the strong player or the winner’s expected valuation by choosing a contest with an all-pay auction equilibrium [...] Read more.
I characterize the optimal accuracy level r of an unbiased Tullock contest between two players with heterogeneous prize valuations. The designer maximizes the winning probability of the strong player or the winner’s expected valuation by choosing a contest with an all-pay auction equilibrium (r2). By contrast, if she aims at maximizing the expected aggregate effort or the winner’s expected effort, she will choose a contest with a pure-strategy equilibrium, and the optimal accuracy level r<2 decreases in the players’ heterogeneity. Finally, a contest designer who faces a tradeoff between selection quality and minimum (maximum) effort will never choose a contest with a semi-mixed equilibrium. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Theory and Applications of Contests and Tournaments)
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