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Quitters Never Win: The (Adverse) Incentive Effects of Competing with Superstars

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  • Jennifer Brown
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    Abstract

    Internal competition may motivate worker effort, yet the benefits of competition may depend critically on workers’ relative abilities: large skill differences may reduce efforts. I use panel data from professional golf tournaments and find that the presence of a superstar is associated with lower performance. On average, golfers’ first-round scores are approximately 0.2 strokes worse when Tiger Woods participates relative to when Woods is absent. The overall tournament effect is 0.8 strokes. The adverse superstar effect varies with the quality of Woods’s play. There is no evidence that reduced performance is attributable to media attention intensity or risky strategy adoption.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

    Volume (Year): 119 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 5 ()
    Pages: 982 - 1013

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/663306

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

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    Cited by:
    1. Mühlheußer, Gerd & Sliwka, Dirk & Hentschel, Sandra, 2013. "The Impact of Managerial Change on Performance. The Role of Team Heterogeneity," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79825, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Hammond, Robert G. & Zheng, Xiaoyong, 2013. "Heterogeneity in tournaments with incomplete information: An experimental analysis," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 248-260.
    3. Matthias Dahm & Patricia Esteve, . "Affirmative Action through Extra Prizes," Discussion Papers 2014-08, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    4. Tanaka, Ryuichi & Ishino, Kazutoshi, 2012. "Testing the incentive effects in tournaments with a superstar," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 393-404.
    5. Richard Murphy & Felix Weinhardt, 2014. "Top of the Class: The Importance of Ordinal Rank," CESifo Working Paper Series 4815, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Antecol, Heather & Eren, Ozkan & Ozbeklik, Serkan, 2013. "Peer Effects in Disadvantaged Primary Schools: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 7694, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Stracke, Rudi, 2012. "Orchestrating Contests with Heterogeneous Participants," Economics Working Paper Series 1218, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    8. Roman M. Sheremeta & William A. Masters & Timothy N. Cason, 2012. "Winner-Take-All and Proportional-Prize Contests: Theory and Experimental Results," Working Papers 12-04, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    9. Gürtler, Marc & Gürtler, Oliver, 2013. "The optimality of heterogeneous tournaments," Working Papers IF42V1, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Institute of Finance.
    10. 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..
    11. Subhasish M. Chowdhury & Oliver Gurtler, 2013. "Sabotage in Contests: A Survey," University of East Anglia Applied and Financial Economics Working Paper Series 051, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..

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