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The Thrill of Victory: Measuring the Incentive to Win

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  • Bentley Coffey
  • M. T. Maloney

Abstract

There is ample evidence that incentive-pay structures, such as tournaments, result in increased performance. Is this due to selection or increased individual effort, and is any increased individual effort caused by pecuniary incentives or merely thirst for the thrill of victory (TOV)? Prior literature has not separated the different effects. We look at performance in horse and dog racing and find that only horses, controlled by jockeys during the race, exhibit performance corresponding to pecuniary incentives, while both respond to selection and TOV. The results show that pay structures do matter. (c) 2010 by The University of Chicago.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Labor Economics.

Volume (Year): 28 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (01)
Pages: 87-112

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:28:y:2010:i:1:p:87-112

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Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JOLE/

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Cited by:
  1. Legge, Stefan & Schmid, Lukas, 2013. "Rankings, Random Successes, and Individual Performance," Economics Working Paper Series 1340, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
  2. Charles Moul & Joseph Keller, 2014. "Time to Unbridle U.S. Thoroughbred Racetracks? Lessons from Australian Bookies," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 211-239, May.
  3. Frick, Bernd & Humphreys, Brad, 2011. "Prize Structure and Performance: Evidence from NASCAR," Working Papers 2011-12, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
  4. Alasdair Brown & Subhasish M. Chowdhury, 2014. "The Hidden Perils of Affirmative Action: Sabotage in Handicap Contests," University of East Anglia Applied and Financial Economics Working Paper Series 062, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  5. Alex Krumer, 2013. "Best-of-two contests with psychological effects," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 75(1), pages 85-100, July.
  6. McAlvanah, Patrick & Moul, Charles C., 2013. "The house doesn’t always win: Evidence of anchoring among Australian bookies," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 87-99.

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