Jonas Send, ‘Contest Copycats: Adversarial Duplication of Effort in Contests’

Participants in an innovation contest may steal their opponents’ ideas to enhance their chance of winning. To model this, I introduce the ability to copy another player’s effort in a Tullock contest between two players. I characterise the unique equilibrium in this game dependent on the cost of copying and one of the players’ productivity advantage. If effort costs are low, the less productive player is more likely to win the contest. The model’s comparative statics have important implications for governments who subsidise firms in contests and for contest designers.

Send, Jonas, Contest Copycats: Adversarial Duplication of Effort in Contests (October 20, 2021). Working Paper of the Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance No 2021-17.

First posted 2021-12-09 11:30:47

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