October 2002

IZA DP No. 617: Allocating Awards Across Noncomparable Categories

Suppose an agency awards a fixed number of prizes to applicants in different categories such that the applicant-to-winner ratio is constant by category. It is demonstrated in a simple theoretical model that the number of awards in a category will typically be positively related to the degree of applicant uncertainty. The theoretical findings are related to awards data from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada doctoral fellowship competition.