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How to divide prize money?

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The question of how to split a prize purse between position prizes in a contest has a long and rich history going all the way back to the work by Galton (1902). The economists’ approach to this question is to assume that contestants strategically invest efforts aiming at selfishly maximizing their payoffs, which combine in some way the value of winning a prize and the cost of production. How should a contest owner split a prize purse with the goal of maximizing the expected total effort in an equilibrium? What if the goal is to maximize the expected maximum individual effort?

This talk is part of the Trinity Mathematical Society series.

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