Working Paper Series, University of Zurich, Department of Economics 195
The axiomatic route to the foundation of contest success functions (CSF) has proved to be both useful and prolific. The standard approach in the literature is based on the decision-theoretic notion that choice probabilities should be independent of irrelevant alternatives (Skaperdas, Economic Theory 1996). The present paper develops an alternative approach that suggests itself once the contest is re-interpreted as a common-pool resource problem. Proceeding along these lines, new axiomatizations are obtained for a variety of popular classes of CSFs, including the logit, Tullock, and difference-form CSFs. The axiomatizations provided are particularly parsimonious in the important special case of two contestants.