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The Predictive Power of Three Prominent Tournament Formats

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  • Dmitry Ryvkin

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida 32306)

  • Andreas Ortmann

    ()
    (CERGE-EI, Charles University and Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic)

Abstract

Tournaments of heterogeneous candidates can be thought of as probabilistic mechanisms that select high-quality agents. We quantify the efficiency of such selection by the likelihood of selecting the best player, here termed the "predictive power." We study three widely used tournament formats: contests, binary elimination tournaments, and round-robin tournaments. Using a simple model, we demonstrate analytically, and through simulations, how the predictive power of these formats depends on the number of players, noise level, and distribution of players' types. We also present the results of exploratory simulations for two alternative criteria of selection efficiency: the expected ability of the winner and the expected rank of the winner. All three criteria may exhibit unexpected nonmonotonic behavior as functions of the number of players and/or noise level. We discuss the conditions under which different types of behavior should be expected, and their implications for managerial decisions.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1070.0856
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

Volume (Year): 54 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (March)
Pages: 492-504

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Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:54:y:2008:i:3:p:492-504

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Related research

Keywords: tournament; design; predictive power; selection; tournament format;

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Cited by:
  1. E. Glenn Dutcher & Loukas Balafoutas & Florian Lindner & Dmitry Ryvkin & Matthias Sutter, 2013. "Strive to be first or avoid being last: An experiment on relative performance incentives," Working Papers 2013-08, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  2. Lindner, Florian & Dutcher, E. Glenn & Balafoutas, Loukas & Ryvkin, Dmitry & Sutter, Matthias, 2013. "Strive to be first and avoid being last: An experiment on relative performance incentives," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79885, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  3. Loukas Balafoutas & Glenn Dutcher & Florian Lindner & Dmitry Ryvkin, 2012. "The optimal allocation of prizes in tournaments of heterogeneous agents," Working Papers 2012-08, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  4. Rudi Stracke & Wolfgang Höchtl & Rudolf Kerschbamer & Uwe Sunde, 2014. "Incentives and selection in promotion contests: Is it possible to kill two birds with one stone?," Working Papers 2014-09, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  5. Erez, Eyal & Sela, Aner, 2010. "Round-Robin Tournaments with Effort Constraints," CEPR Discussion Papers 8021, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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