Checking date: 15/07/2020

Course: 2020/2021

Topics in microeconomics (A)
Study: Master in Economic Analysis (68)

Coordinating teacher: FABRA PORTELA, NATALIA

Department assigned to the subject: Department of Economics

Type: Electives
ECTS Credits: 4.0 ECTS


Students are expected to have completed
Microeconomics I, Microeconomics II and Microeconomics III
Competences and skills that will be acquired and learning results.
The students will get a good background on the Theory of Contests and will be prepared to make research in this topic at the highest level.
Description of contents: programme
OUTLINE OF THE COURSE Papers marked with a star a classic papers. Papers with an hyphen in front are surveys or recent stuff. 1. Contests. Definition of a contest. Examples. - Corchón, L. (2007). "The theory of contests: a survey". Review of Economic Design 11, 69, 100. 2. Contest Success Functions. Tullock, Linear, Hirschleifer, All pay auction and others. Microfoundations: Axiomatization. The setting of a single decider. Cooperative foundations. * Tullock, G. (1980). "Efficient Rent-Seeking. In J. M. Buchanan, R. D. Tollison and G. Tullock (eds.) Towards a Theory of a Rent-Seeking Society, Texas A&M University Press: 97-112. * Hillman, A. and Riley, J. (1987). Politically Contestable Rents and Transfers.Economics and Politics, 1, 3, 17-39. * Hirshleifer, Jack (1989), Conflict and Rent-Seeking Success Functions: Ratio vs. Difference Models. Public Choice 63, 101,112. * Skaperdas, S. (1996): Contest Success Functions. Economic Theory 2, 283-290. * Baye, M., Kovenock, D., de Vries, C. (1996). "The all-pay auction with complete information". Economic Theory, 8, 2, 291-305. - Clark, D. and C. Riis (1998): Contest Success Functions: An Extension. Economic Theory 11, 201-204. - Corchón, L. (2000): "The Allocative E¤ects of Rent-Seeking." Journal of Public Economic Theory 2, 4, 483-491. - Corchón, L. and M. Dahm (2010). "Foundations for Contest Success Functions". Economic Theory, 43, 1 81-98. - Jia, H., Skaperdas, S., Vaidya, S. (2013). "Contest functions: Theoretical foundations and issues in estimation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, 31, 3, 211-222. - Corchón, L. and C. Beviá (2015). "Relative Di¤erence Contest Success Function". Theory and Decision, 78, 377-398, 2015. 3. Properties of Equilibrium and Applications. Symmetric Contests: Existence, comparative statics and uniqueness of equilibrium. Asymmetric Contests: Basic properties in a special case. Applications: Group contests, rent-seeking and economic performance, sabotage. Biology * Olson, M. (1965): The Logic of Collective Action. Harvard University Press. Chapters 1 and 2. * Perez-Castrillo, D. and T. Verdier (1992): A General Analysis of Rent-Seeking Games. Public Choice 73, 335-50. - E. Glaezer, R. La Porta, F. Silanes and A. Shleifer (2004): Do Institutions Cause Growth? Journal of Economic Growth 9, 271-303. - Cornes, R., and R. Hartley (2005). "Asymmetric Contests with General Technologies. Economic Theory 26, 4, 923-946. - Beviá, C. and L. Corchón (2006). "Rational Sabotage with Heterogeneous Agents". Berkeley Electronic J. in Theoretical Econ., Topics. 6, 1. - Corchón, L. (2007). "The theory of contests: a survey", op cit. - Chowdhury, S.M., Gürtler, O. (2015). "Sabotage in Contests: A Survey". Public Choice, 164, 1, 135-155. - Ostreiher, R., Pruett-Jones, S., Heifetz, A. (2012) "Asymmetric contests at the nest". Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 66, 9, 1237-1246. 4. Extensions. Centralized vs decentralized contests. Auctions and contests. Entry. Affirmative action. Networks. - Azmat, G., and Möller, M. (2009). Competition amongst Contests. RAND Journal of Economics, 40, 743-768. - Yates, A. (2011). "Winner-pay contests". Public Choice, 147, 1, 93-106. - Brown, J. (2011) "Quitters Never Win: The (Adverse) Incentive E¤ects of Competing with Superstars". J. of Political Economy 119, 5, 982-1013 - Franke, J. (2012). The Incentive E¤ects of Leveling the Playing Field: An Empirical Analysis of Amateur Golf Tournaments". Applied Economics 44, 9, 1193-1200. - Franke, J. (2012). "A¢ rmative Action in Contest Games". European Journal of Political Economy 28, 1,. 105-118. - Calsamiglia, C., Franke, J., Rey-Biel, P. (2013). "The Incentive E¤ects of Affirmative Action in a Real Effort Tournament". Journal of Public Economics 15-31. - Franke, J. and T. Öztürk (2015). Conflict Networks (2015). Journal of Public Economics, 126, 104-113 - Corchón, L., Beviá, C. (2015). "Centralized vs Decentralized Contests". Economics Letters, 137(C), 32-35 5. Welfare Properties of Contests. Welfare losses of monopoly and the Coase theorem in rent-seeking societies. The design of optimal contests. Commitment problems. - Fullerton, R. L., McAfee, P. (1999). "Auctioning Entry into Tournaments". Journal of Political Economy, 107, 3, 573-605. - Corchón, L. (2007). "The Theory of Contests: a Survey", op. cit. - Corchón, L. and M. Dahm (2010). "Welfare Maximizing Contest Success Functions when the Planner Cannot Commit". Journal of Mathematical Economics, 47, 3, 309-317. - Franke, J., C. Kanzow, W. Leininger and A. Schwartz (2014). "Lottery versus All Pay Auction Contests: A Revenue Dominance Theorem". Games & Economic Behavior 83, 116-126. - Nitzan, S. and Mealem, Y. (2015). "Discrimination in Contests". WP 6. Dynamic contests. Two stage contests. Incentives to pre commit. Who should play First? Grand Contests. Endogenous strength. * Dixit, A. (1987). "Strategic Behavior in Contests". American Economic Review, 77, 5, 891-898. - Baik, K. and J. Shogren (1992). "Strategic Behavior in Contests: Comment" American Economic Review, 82, 1, 359-362. - Klumpp, T. and M. Polborn (2006). "Primaries and the New Hampshire Effect". Journal of Public Economics 90, 1073-1114. - Konrad, K. (2012). "Dynamic Contests and the Discouragement Effect," Revue déconomie politique, 122, 2, 233-256. - Corchón, L. and C. Beviá (2013). "Endogenous Strength in Conflicts". International Journal of Industrial Organization, 31, 3, 195-306. 7. Contests with ties and applications to sports - Szymanski, S. (2003). "The Assessment: The Economics of Sport". Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 19, 4, 467-77. - Cohen, C. and Sela, A. (2007). "Contests with Ties". The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, 7, 1. - Blavatskyy, P. R., (2010). "Contest success function with the possibility of a draw: axiomatization". J. of Mathematical Economics 46, 2, 267-276. - Yildizparlak, A. (2014). "An Application of Contest Success Functions for Draws on European Soccer". Journal of Sports Economics, July, 12, 2017. 8. Contests with incomplete information - Malueg, D., and Yates, A., (2004). "Rent seeking with private values", Public Choice, 119, 161-178. - Wasser, C., (2013). "Incomplete information in rent-seeking contests", Economic Theory, 53, 1, 239-268 9. Experiments - Dechenaux, E., Kovenock, D., Sheremeta, R. (2015). "A Survey of Experimental Research on Contests, All-Pay Auctions and Tournaments". Experimental Economics, 18, 609-669, 2015. 10. War. Rationalist explanations for wars. Are democracies more or less prone to wars than autocracies? How to avoid war. * Hirshleifer, J. (1991). "The Paradox of Power." Economics & Politics 3, 177-200. * Skaperdas, S. (1992). "Cooperation, conflict, and power in the absence of property rights." American Economic Review 82, 4, 720-739. * Fearon, J. (1995). Rationalist Explanations for War. International Organization 49: 379-414. * Bueno de Mesquita, B., Smith, A., Siverson, R., and J. Morrow (2003). The Logic of Political Survival. The MIT Press. - Garfinkel, M. and S. Skaperdas (2007). Economics of Conflict: An Overview." T. Sandler and K. Hartley (ed.), Handbook of Defense Economics, N. Holland. - Jackson, M., Morelli, M. (2007). Political Bias and War. American Economic Review 97, 4, 1353-1373. - Jackson, M., Morelli, M. (2009). "The Reasons for Wars. An Updated Survey". C. Coyne (ed.) Handbook on the Political Economy of War, Elgar. - Beviá, C. and L. Corchón (2010). "Peace Agreements without Commitment". Games and Economic Behavior, 68, 469-487. - Corchón, L. and A. Yildizparlak (2013). "Give Peace a Chance: The Effect of Asymmetric Information on Peace". Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 92, 116-126 - Baliga, S. and T. Sjostrom (2013). "Bargaining and War: A Review of Some Formal Models". Korean Economic Review, 29(2), 235-266. 11. Presentation of three faculty members of their latest research.
Learning activities and methodology
Students are expected to attend lecture, do home works every other week, read papers before lecture, prepare a paper presentation and do a final exam.
Assessment System
  • % end-of-term-examination 40
  • % of continuous assessment (assigments, laboratory, practicals...) 60
Additional Bibliography
  • Bennedsen, Morten, and Sven E. Feldmann... Lobbying legislatures. Journal of Political Economy. 2002
  • Caillaud, Bernard, and Jean Tirole. Consensus building: how to persuade a group. The American Economic Review. 2007
  • Dal Bo, Ernesto. Bribing Voters. American Journal of Political Science . 2007
  • Dekel, Eddie, Matthew O. Jackson, and AsherWolinsky. Vote buying: General elections. Journal of Political Economy. 2008
  • Grossman, Gene M., and Elhanan Helpman. Special interest politics. MIT press. 2001
  • Morgan, John, and Felix Várdy. 120.5 (2012): 986-1026.. Mixed motives and the optimal size of voting bodies. Journal of Political Economy. 2012
Recursos electrónicosElectronic Resources *
Detailed subject contents or complementary information about assessment system of B.T.
(*) Access to some electronic resources may be restricted to members of the university community and require validation through Campus Global. If you try to connect from outside of the University you will need to set up a VPN

The course syllabus and the academic weekly planning may change due academic events or other reasons.

More information: