Costly competitions between economic agents are modeled as contests. Researchers use laboratory experiments to study contests and test comparative static predictions of contest theory. Commonly, researchers find that participants’ efforts are significantly higher than predicted by the standard Nash equilibrium. Despite overbidding, most comparative static predictions, such as the incentive effect, the size effect, the discouragement effect and others are supported in the laboratory. In addition, experimental studies examine various contest structures, including dynamic contests (such as multi-stage races, wars of attrition, tug-of-wars), multi-dimensional contests (such as Colonel Blotto games), and contests between groups. This article provides a short review of such studies.
Sheremeta, R. (2018). Experimental research on contests. ESI Working Paper 18-07. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.chapman.edu/esi_working_papers/245