Contests & Conflict | 01/27/2021 | 07:00 AM
Optimal prizes in tournaments under nonseparable preferences

Speaker: Mikhail Drugov

Mikhail Drugov will present his paper titled "Optimal prizes in tournaments under nonseparable preferences" (joint with Dmitry Ryvkin).

Abstract of the paper:
We study rank-order tournaments with risk-averse agents whose utility over money and effort (or leisure) may be nonseparable. We characterize the optimal prize schedule when the principal allocates a fixed budget and show how it is determined by the interplay between the properties of noise and the utility function. In particular, the distribution of noise alone determines whether the optimal prize schedule has flat regions where some number of prizes are equal, while the total number of positive prizes depends on both the noise distribution and utility function. For unimodal noise distributions, the optimal number of positive prizes is restricted regardless of utility under mild assumptions. Also, while the common wisdom suggests---and it holds in the separable case---that risk aversion pushes optimal prize allocations in the direction of prize sharing, this is no longer true, in general, when the marginal utility of money depends on effort.

Chair: Tracy Xiao Liu
Co-Chair: Qiang Fu

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