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The distribution of talent across contests
Azmat, Ghazala; Möller, Marc
Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Departament d'Economia i Empresa
Do the contests with the largest prizes attract the most able contestants? Towhat extent do contestants avoid competition? In this paper, we show, theoreticallyand empirically, that the distribution of abilities plays a crucial role in determiningcontest choice. Sorting exists only when the proportion of high-ability contestantsis sufficiently small. As this proportion increases, contestants shy away from competitionand sorting decreases, such that, reverse sorting becomes a possibility. Wetest our theoretical predictions using a large panel data set containing contest choiceover three decades. We use exogenous variation in the participation of highly-ablecompetitors to provide empirical evidence for the relationship among prizes, competition,and sorting.
2012-11-26
Labour, Public, Development and Health Economics
contests
sorting
ability
prize allocation.
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