Contingent payments in selection contests
The early literature on research contests stressed the advantages of a fixed prize in inspiring R&D effort. More recently the focus has moved towards endogenizing the rewards to research activity in these tournament settings, since this can induce extra effort or enhance the surplus of the buyer. We focus on a research contest as a means of selecting a partner for an R&D enterprise, in an informational setting in which the established providers of R&D services know more about each others’ relative capabilities than does the buyer/sponsor. This asymmetry creates a source of inefficiency if a rank order contest is used as a selection device; we show how the contest can be modified to improve selection efficiency, while maintaining its simplicity (as only ordinal information is required). The modification that we suggest involves endogenizing the prizes that are awarded contingent upon whether a contestant wins or loses the contest. Furthermore, the payment system and the selection mechanism are detail free.
PublisherUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
SeriesWorking paper series in economics and management, 2005, nr 3
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