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Selection Tournaments, Sabotage, and Participation

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  • Johannes Münster
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    Abstract

    "This paper studies sabotage in tournaments with at least three contestants, where the contestants know each other well. Every contestant has an incentive to direct sabotage specifically against his most dangerous rival. In equilibrium, contestants who choose a higher productive effort are sabotaged more heavily. This might explain findings from psychology, where victims of mobbing are sometimes found to be overachieving. Moreover, sabotage equalizes promotion chances. The effect is most pronounced if the production functions are linear in sabotage, and the cost functions depend only on the sum of all sabotage activities: in an interior equilibrium, who will win is a matter of chance, even when contestants differ a great deal in their abilities. This, in turn, has adverse consequences for who might want to participate in a tournament. Because better contestants anticipate that they will be sabotaged more strongly, it may happen that the most able stay out and the tournament selects one of the less able with probability one. I also study the case where some contestants are easy victims, that is, easier to sabotage than others." Copyright 2007, The Author(s) Journal Compilation (c) 2007 Blackwell Publishing.

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    Bibliographic Info

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

    Volume (Year): 16 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 4 (December)
    Pages: 943-970

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:jemstr:v:16:y:2007:i:4:p:943-970

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

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    Web: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=1058-6407&site=1

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    Cited by:
    1. Gürtler, Oliver & Münster, Johannes, 2009. "Sabotage in dynamic tournaments," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance SP II 2009-06, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    2. Anja Schöttner & Veikko Thiele, 2007. "Promotion Tournaments and Individual Performance Pay," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2007-045, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    3. Béatrice Roussillon & Paul Schweinzer, 2010. "Efficient emissions reduction," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 1004, Economics, The University of Manchester.

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