Foundations for Contest Success Functions Articles uri icon

publication date

  • March 2010

start page

  • 81

end page

  • 98


  • 1


  • 43

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0938-2259

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1432-0479


  • In the literature, the outcome of contests is either interpreted as win probabilities or as shares of the prize. With this in mind, we examine two approaches to contest success functions
    (CSFs). In the first, we analyze the implications of contestants'
    incomplete information concerning the 'type' of the contest
    administrator. While in the case of two contestants this approach
    can rationalize prominent CSFs, we show that it runs into
    difficulties when there are more agents. Our second approach interprets
    CSFs as sharing rules and establishes a connection to
    bargaining and claims problems which is independent of the number of
    contestants. Both approaches provide foundations for popular
    CSFs and guidelines for the definition of new ones.

    "The strategic approach also seeks to combine axiomatic cooperative solutions and non-cooperative solutions. Roger Myerson
    recently named this task the 'Nash program'."(Rubinstein 1985, p. 1151)