We use a Tullock-type contest to show that intuitively and structurally different contests can be strategically equivalent. Strategically equivalent contests generate the same best response functions and, as a result, the same efforts. Two strategically equivalent contests, however, may yield different equilibrium payoffs. We propose a simple two-step procedure to identify strategically equivalent contests. Using this procedure, we identify contests that are strategically equivalent to the original Tullock contest, and provide new examples of strategically equivalent contests. Finally, we discuss possible contest design applications and avenues for future theoretical and empirical research.
Chowdhury, S.M. and Sheremeta, R.M. (2010). The equivalence of contests. ESI Working Paper 10-06. Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.chapman.edu/esi_working_papers/125