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Envy and Compassion in Tournaments

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  • Christian Grund
  • Dirk Sliwka

Abstract

Many experiments 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 effort levels than purely self-interested agents for a given prize structure. Contrary to standard tournament theory first-best efforts can not be implemented when prizes are endogenous. Several extensions are studied like the case of spiteful agents, sabotage, asymmetric agents and an application on the choice between vertical and lateral promotions within firms.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Bonn, Germany in its series Bonn Econ Discussion Papers with number bgse32_2002.

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Length: 27
Date of creation: Nov 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bon:bonedp:bgse32_2002

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Postal: Bonn Graduate School of Economics, University of Bonn, Adenauerallee 24 - 26, 53113 Bonn, Germany
Fax: +49 228 73 6884
Web page: http://www.bgse.uni-bonn.de

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Keywords: Tournaments; Promotions; Inequity Aversion;

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  1. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., . "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Lazear, Edward P, 1989. "Pay Equality and Industrial Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 561-80, June.
  3. Prendergast, Canice & Topel, Robert, 1993. "Discretion and bias in performance evaluation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 355-365, April.
  4. Mui, V.L., 1992. "The Economics of Envy," Papers 9306, Southern California - Department of Economics.
  5. 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.
  6. Chan, William, 1996. "External Recruitment versus Internal Promotion," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(4), pages 555-70, October.
  7. Englmaier, Florian & Achim Wambach, 2003. "Contracts and Inequity Aversion," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 74, Royal Economic Society.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences With Simple Tests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 817-869, August.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2001. "Theories of Fairness and Reciprocity," Discussion Papers in Economics 14, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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