Here are two more comments:
- All-pay-auctions do not recreate the dynamics of one-sided lobbying, where one special interest group (e.g., sugar producers, auto makers, wall street) bribes politicians to transfer taxpayer wealth to them. All-pay-auctions are more like the competition between groups to influence politicians, e.g., various groups trying to get "their" version of legislation affecting the Sacramento Delta or doctors, insurance companies and pharma trying to affect healthcare legislation.
- In 2006, Russ Roberts and Mike Munger discussed all-pay-auctions, public choice, rent-seeking and lobbying. (They even get into Mancur Olson's Logic of Collective Action!) Listen to it.