Endogenous contest success functions: a mechanism design approach
We describe optimal contest success functions (CSF) which maximize expected revenues of an administrator who allocates under informational asymmetry a source of rent among competing bidders. It is shown that in the case of independent private values rent administrator’s optimal mechanism can always be implemented via some CSFs as posited by Tullock. Optimal endogenous CSFs have properties which are often assumed a priori as plausible features of rent-seeking contests; the paper therefore validates such assumptions for a broad class of contests. Various extensions or optimal CSFs are analyzed.
The paper provides a framework for analysis of optimal growth enhancing policy in the economy with market and government failures. It develops an endogenous growth model with strategic complementarities between R&D investments of firms and investments in training of households. The model generates two possible long-run equilibriums: no-growth poverty trap equilibrium and stable sustainable growth equilibrium. In the extended version of the model with government failures we assume that some part of government revenue is expropriated by rent seeking agents. With these conditions we analyze the possibility of transition from stagnation to growth induced by government investment subsidies and other factors.
We investigate a model of one-stage bidding between two differently informed stockmarket agents where one unit of risky asset (share) is traded. The random liquidation price of a share may take two values: the integer positive m with probability p and 0 with probability 1-p. Player 1 (insider) is informed about the price, Player 2 is not. Both players know probability p. Player 2 knows that Player 1 is an insider. Both players propose simultaneously their bids. The player who posts the larger price buys one share from his opponent for this price. Any integer bids are admissible. The model is reduced to zero-sum game with lack of information on one side. We construct the solution of this game for any p and m : we find optimal strategies of both players and describe recurrent mechanism for calculating game value. The results are illustrated by means of computer simulation.
In the article, we attempt to underpin the hypothesis that under certain conditions a propitious selection may take place on the higher education market. It is a phenomenon when brand universities automatically reproduce their positive reputation without improving the quality of teaching due to influx of talented entrants. We apply econometric modelling and regression analysis based on survey of first-year students from Moscow to demonstrate that graduates with high USE marks really prefer to choose among brand universities; moreover, they appreciate a possibility to obtain a prestigious diploma even more than that of acquiring a particular profession. However, entrants do not possess full information about the quality of teaching in a particular university. The analysis presented in the article shows that university rankings do not contribute to overcoming of this information asymmetry, since they transmit distorted signals caused by the methodology of ranking. The rankings, first of all, accentuate academic activity of teachers rather than educational process and interaction with students. For this reason, higher schools often adopt such a strategy to meet the ranking criteria as much as possible; they also tend to improve namely these indicators disregarding the other to become a leader. As a result, brand universities may surpass ordinary universities not due to rendering educational services of higher quality but due to selection of best entrants and peer-effects. These factors allow them to have excellent graduates, thus maintain positive reputation in employers’ opinion and simultaneously raise the brand value by advancing in a ranking.
Repeated bidding games were introduced by De Meyer and Saley (2002) to analyze the evolution of the price system at finance markets with asymmetric information. In the paper of De Meyer and Saley arbitrary bids are allowed. It is more realistic to assume that players may assign only discrete bids proportional to a minimal currency unit. This paper represents a survey of author's results on discrete bidding games with asymmetric information.
We consider multistage bidding models where two types of risky assets (shares) are traded between two agents that have different information on the liquidation prices of traded assets. These prices are random integer variables that are determined by the initial chance move according to a probability distribution p over the two-dimensional integer lattice that is known to both players. Player 1 is informed on the prices of both types of shares, but Player 2 is not. The bids may take any integer value.
The model of n-stage bidding is reduced to a zero-sum repeated game with lack of information on one side. We show that, if liquidation prices of shares have finite variances, then the sequence of values of n-step games is bounded. This makes it reasonable to consider the bidding of unlimited duration that is reduced to the infinite game G1(p). We offer the solutions for these games.
We begin with constructing solutions for these games with distributions p having two and three-point supports. Next, we build the optimal strategies of Player 1 for bidding games G1(p) with arbitrary distributions p as convex combinations of his optimal strategies for such games with distributions having two- and three-point supports. To do this we construct the symmetric representation of probability distributions with fixed integer expectation vectors as a convex combination of distributions with not more than three-point supports and with the same expectation vectors.
In Russia, rent seeking has involved violence and control of the judiciary. State agencies that formally should protect the state have been used to extract rents through means that are in principle illegal. The end of effective political competition resulted in corruption and expansion of administratively extracted rents. The rent extraction extends throughout the layers of government bureaucracy and local and national levels of government. We provide examples in which rent extraction reaches the individual, through traffic police and a market for academic degrees.
The paper examines the structure, governance, and balance sheets of state-controlled banks in Russia, which accounted for over 55 percent of the total assets in the country's banking system in early 2012. The author offers a credible estimate of the size of the country's state banking sector by including banks that are indirectly owned by public organizations. Contrary to some predictions based on the theoretical literature on economic transition, he explains the relatively high profitability and efficiency of Russian state-controlled banks by pointing to their competitive position in such functions as acquisition and disposal of assets on behalf of the government. Also suggested in the paper is a different way of looking at market concentration in Russia (by consolidating the market shares of core state-controlled banks), which produces a picture of a more concentrated market than officially reported. Lastly, one of the author's interesting conclusions is that China provides a better benchmark than the formerly centrally planned economies of Central and Eastern Europe by which to assess the viability of state ownership of banks in Russia and to evaluate the country's banking sector.
The paper examines the principles for the supervision of financial conglomerates proposed by BCBS in the consultative document published in December 2011. Moreover, the article proposes a number of suggestions worked out by the authors within the HSE research team.