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Envy and Compassion in Tournaments

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  • Christian Grund
  • Dirk Sliwka

Abstract

Many experiments and field studies indicate that most individuals are not purely motivated by material self-interest but also care about the well being of others. In this paper, we examine tournaments among inequity averse agents, who dislike disadvantageous inequity (envy) and advantageous inequity (compassion). It turns out that inequity averse agents exert higher efforts than purely self-interested agents for a given prize structure. Contrary to standard tournament theory, first-best efforts cannot be implemented when prizes are endogenous. Furthermore, the choice between vertical and lateral promotions is examined and it is shown that inequity costs have to be traded off against losses in human capital. Copyright Blackwell Publishing 2005.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Economics & Management Strategy.

Volume (Year): 14 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (03)
Pages: 187-207

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jemstr:v:14:y:2005:i:1:p:187-207

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Web page: http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/research/journals/JEMS/

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References

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  1. Bhattacharya, Sudipto & Guasch, J Luis, 1988. "Heterogeneity, Tournaments, and Hierarchies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 867-81, August.
  2. Charness, Gary & Rabin, Matthew, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt3d04q5sm, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  3. Florian Englmaier & Achim Wambach, 2002. "Contracts and Inequity Aversion," CESifo Working Paper Series 809, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2001. "Theories of Fairness and Reciprocity," Discussion Papers in Economics 14, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  5. Chan, William, 1996. "External Recruitment versus Internal Promotion," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(4), pages 555-70, October.
  6. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1998. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," CEPR Discussion Papers 1812, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. 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.
  8. Lazear, Edward P, 1989. "Pay Equality and Industrial Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 561-80, June.
  9. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  10. O'Keeffe, Mary & Viscusi, W Kip & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1984. "Economic Contests: Comparative Reward Schemes," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(1), pages 27-56, January.
  11. Mui, Vai-Lam, 1995. "The economics of envy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 311-336, May.
  12. Prendergast, Canice & Topel, Robert, 1993. "Discretion and bias in performance evaluation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 355-365, April.
  13. Stark, Oded, 1990. "A Relative Deprivation Approach to Performance Incentives in Career Games and Other Contests," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 211-27.
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