The optimal design of round-robin tournaments with three players

  • Alex Krumer
  • Reut Megidish
  • Aner SelaEmail author


We study the optimal design of round-robin tournaments with three symmetric players. We characterize the subgame-perfect equilibrium in these tournaments with either one or two prizes. Our results show that the players who wish to maximize their expected payoffs or their probabilities of winning have different preferences about the order of games under tournaments with one or two prizes. We analyze the optimal allocations of players for a designer who wishes to maximize the players’ expected total effort in the tournaments with one and two prizes, and by comparing between them, it is demonstrated that in order to maximize the players’ expected total effort the designer should allocate only one prize.


Multi-stage contests All-pay auctions First-mover advantage Second-mover advantage Round-robin tournaments 

JEL Classification

D00 L00 D20 Z20 D44 O31 


Supplementary material

10951_2019_624_MOESM1_ESM.docx (216 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 215 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Business Administration and Social SciencesMolde University CollegeMoldeNorway
  2. 2.Department of Applied EconomicsSapir Academic CollegeM.P. Hof AshkelonIsrael
  3. 3.Department of Managing Human ResourcesSapir Academic CollegeM.P. Hof AshkelonIsrael
  4. 4.Department of EconomicsBen-Gurion University of the NegevBeer-ShevaIsrael

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