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Risk Taking in Asymmetric Tournaments

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  • Matthias Kräkel
  • Dirk Sliwka

Abstract

A tournament is examined in which two agents with different abilities choose efforts as well as risks. According to the previous literature, the more (less) able agent should choose a low (high) risk strategy, because the first one does not want to imperil his favorable position, whereas the last one can only gain by increasing risk. We show that this is not necessarily true. Risk taking affects equilibrium efforts as well as winning probabilities. Depending on both effects diverse equilibria are possible. For example, the low and the high ability agent may both choose high risks or both choose low risks. Copyright Verein für Socialpolitik and Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2004.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Verein für Socialpolitik in its journal German Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 5 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (02)
Pages: 103-116

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Handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:5:y:2004:i:1:p:103-116

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  1. Hans K. Hvide, 2000. "Tournament Rewards and Risk Taking," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0163, Econometric Society.
  2. Hoffler, Felix & Sliwka, Dirk, 2003. "Do new brooms sweep clean? When and why dismissing a manager increases the subordinates' performance," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(5), pages 877-890, October.
  3. Ehrenberg, Ronald G & Bognanno, Michael L, 1990. "Do Tournaments Have Incentive Effects?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1307-24, December.
  4. Eriksson, Tor, 1999. "Executive Compensation and Tournament Theory: Empirical Tests on Danish Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(2), pages 262-80, April.
  5. Robert Gibbons & Kevin Murphy, 1989. "Relative Performance Evaluation for Chief Executive Officers," Working Papers 628, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  6. Knoeber, Charles R & Thurman, Walter N, 1994. "Testing the Theory of Tournaments: An Empirical Analysis of Broiler Production," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(2), pages 155-79, April.
  7. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Michael L. Bognanno, 1990. "The incentive effects of tournaments revisited: Evidence from the European PGA tour," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(3), pages 74-88, February.
  8. Baker, George & Gibbs, Michael & Holmstrom, Bengt, 1994. "The Wage Policy of a Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 921-55, November.
  9. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-64, October.
  10. Glazer, Amihai & Hassin, Refael, 1988. "Optimal Contests," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(1), pages 133-43, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Nieken, Petra & Sliwka, Dirk, 2010. "Risk-taking tournaments - Theory and experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 254-268, June.
  2. Kräkel, Matthias & Schöttner, Anja, 2010. "Technology choice, relative performance pay, and worker heterogeneity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 748-758, December.
  3. Christian Grund & Oliver Gürtler, 2005. "An Empirical Study on Risk Taking in Tournaments," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse6_2005, University of Bonn, Germany.
  4. Matthias Kräkel, 2007. "Optimal Risk Taking in an Uneven Tournament Game with Risk Averse Players," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse4_2007, University of Bonn, Germany.
  5. Kräkel, Matthias & Nieken, Petra & Przemeck, Judith, 2008. "Risk Taking in Winner-Take-All Competition," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 233, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  6. Eriksen, Kristoffer W. & Kvaløy, Ola, 2014. "Myopic risk-taking in tournaments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 37-46.
  7. Konrad, Kai A., 2005. "Tournaments and Multiple Productive Inputs: The Case of Performance Enhancing Drugs," IZA Discussion Papers 1844, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Eriksen, Kristoffer & Kvaløy, Ola & Olsen, Trond, 2008. "Tournaments with price-setting agents," UiS Working Papers in Economics and Finance 2009/5, University of Stavanger.
  9. Mueller-Langer, Frank & Andreoli-Versbach, Patrick, 2013. "Leading-effect vs. Risk-taking in Dynamic Tournaments: Evidence from a Real-life Randomized Experiment," Discussion Papers in Economics 15452, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  10. Nieken, Petra & Stegh, Michael, 2010. "Incentive Effects in Asymmetric Tournaments Empirical Evidence from the German Hockey League," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 305, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.

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