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Unifying Contests: from Noisy Ranking to Ratio-Form Contest Success Functions

Fu, Qiang and Lu, Jingfeng (2007): Unifying Contests: from Noisy Ranking to Ratio-Form Contest Success Functions.

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Abstract

This paper proposes a multi-winner noisy-ranking contest model. Contestants are ranked in a descending order by their perceived outputs, and rewarded by their ranks. A contestant's perceivable output increases with his/her autonomous effort, but is subject to random perturbation. We establish, under plausible conditions, the equivalence between our model and the family of (winner-take-all and multi-winner) lottery contests built upon ratio-form contest success functions. Our model thus provides a micro foundation for this family of often studied contests. In addition, our approach reveals a common thread that connects a broad class of seeming disparate competitive activities and unifies them in the nutshell of ratio-form success functions.

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