Rent Seeking and Rent Dissipation: A Neutrality Result

with J Alcalde, Journal of Public Economics, 2010, DOI

We consider rent seeking contests between at least two agents who might value the prize differently. We capture a wide range of institutional aspects of contests by analyzing a class of contest success functions fulfilling several properties. The main properties are anonymity and a condition on the elasticity of a rent seeker’s win probability with respect to her effort. We show the existence of a mixed-strategy equilibrium and establish equilibrium payoffs. In this equilibrium complete rent dissipation holds. Our results imply a partial robustness result for the all-pay auction.