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Optimal Award Scheme in Innovation Tournaments

Korpeoglu, E; Ales, L; Cho, SH; (2017) Optimal Award Scheme in Innovation Tournaments. Operations Research , 65 (3) pp. 693-702. 10.1287/opre.2016.1575. Green open access

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In an innovation tournament, an organizer solicits innovative ideas from a number of independent agents. Agents exert effort to develop their solutions, but their outcomes are unknown due to technical uncertainty and/or subjective evaluation criteria. To incentivize agents to make their best effort, the organizer needs to devise a proper award scheme. While extant literature either assumes a winner-take-all scheme a priori or shows its optimality under specific distributions for uncertainty, this paper derives necessary and sufficient conditions under which the winner-take-all scheme is optimal. These conditions are violated when agents perceive it very likely that only few agents receive high evaluation or when a tournament does not require substantial increase in agents’ marginal cost of effort to develop high-quality solutions. Yet, the winner-take-all scheme is optimal in many practical situations, especially when agents have symmetric beliefs about their evaluation. In this case, the organizer should offer a larger winner prize when he is interested in obtaining a higher number of good solutions, but interestingly the organizer need not necessarily raise the winner prize when anticipating more participants to a tournament. / The online appendix is available at https://doi.org/10.1287/opre.2016.1575.

Type: Article
Title: Optimal Award Scheme in Innovation Tournaments
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1287/opre.2016.1575
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/opre.2016.1575
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: games/group decisions; tournament; research and development; innovation
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > UCL School of Management
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1492916
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