Delegation with multiple instruments in a rent-seeking contest

Public Choice (Impact Factor: 0.91). 06/2007; 131(3):453-464. DOI: 10.1007/s11127-006-9125-x
Source: RePEc


We consider delegation in a rent-seeking contest with two players, where delegates have more instruments at their disposal than the main players. We endogenize both the decision to hire a delegate and the contingent fee offered to the delegates. We characterize the situations when either no, one or two players hire a delegate in equilibrium. We show that the decision to hire a delegate depends in a non-monotonic way on the size of the contested prize. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

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Available from: Lambert Schoonbeek, Sep 18, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: The direct evolutionary approach according to Leininger (2003) states that players in a two player Tullock rent-seeking contest within a finite population behave "as if" they were relative payoff maximizers. Accordingly contest expenditures are higher than in Nash equilibrium. The indirect evolutionary approach also predicts more aggressive behavior by the players since negatively interdependent preferences are evolutionary stable. Both players are willing to harm themselves in material terms just to harm their opponent even more. I consider that every player in the contest has to contract a delegate either using a relative contract or a no-win-no-pay contract. I show that delegation once introduced is able to overcompensate all negative effects of negatively interdependent objective functions. But as in the case without delegation a commitment on more aggressive behavior is a dominant strategy. Nevertheless delegation endows principals with a material payoff that is equal to the payoff an individualistic player facing another individualistic player would get.
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    ABSTRACT: We study two-player contests in which, in order to win a prize, each player hires a delegate to expend effort on her behalf; neither party's delegation contract is revealed to the rival party when the delegates choose their effort levels. We obtain first the outcomes of this unobservable-contracts case. Next, we perform comparative statics of these outcomes with respect to the higher-valuation player's valuation for the prize. Finally, we compare the outcomes of the unobservable-contracts case with those of the observable-contracts case. We find, among other things, that the unobservability of delegation contracts narrows the gap between the delegates' equilibrium contingent compensation. (JEL: D72)
    No preview · Article · Sep 2014 · Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics JITE