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Fatigue in dynamic tournaments

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  • Dmitry Ryvkin

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Florida State University)

Abstract

Employee overwork and fatigue are a concern of managers in many organizations, as they may increase health and safety risks and decrease productivity. The problem is especially severe in competitive environments where compensation and promotions are awarded, explicitly or implicitly, on the basis of relative performance. In this paper, we propose a theory for, and study experimentally, the phenomenon of fatigue in dynamic contests aimed to mimic such settings. Theoretically, we find that if managers wish to avoid overwork, for example due to its negative impact on productivity, they should let their employees compete for promotion longer, with multiple intermediate performance evaluation stages. Experimentally, we find that subjects react strongly to changes in the environment related to fatigue and follow the comparative statics of equilibrium predictions. At the same time, within a given environment subjects behave as if they are unaware of the deteriorating effect of fatigue on their competitiveness. The results suggest that nonspecific information on consequences of fatigue is more effective than targeted information on how fatigue affects an employee’s chances of winning the competition.

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File URL: ftp://econpapers.fsu.edu/RePEc/fsu/wpaper/wp2009_06_03.pdf
File Function: First version, 2009-06
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Florida State University in its series Working Papers with number wp2009_06_03.

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Length: 34
Date of creation: Jun 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fsu:wpaper:wp2009_06_03

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Keywords: overwork; fatigue; dynamic contest; experiment;

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References

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  1. Konrad, Kai A. & Kovenock, Dan, 2006. "Multi-battle contests," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 122, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
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  7. J. Atsu Amegashie & C. Bram Cadsby & Yang Song, 2005. "Competitive Burnout: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 0507, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
  8. Pamela Schmitt & Robert Shupp & Kurtis Swope & John Cadigan, 2004. "Multi-period rent-seeking contests with carryover: Theory and experimental evidence," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 187-211, November.
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  12. Alexander Matros, 2006. "Elimination Tournaments where Players Have Fixed Resources," Working Papers 205, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2006.
  13. Bognanno, Michael L, 2001. "Corporate Tournaments," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 290-315, April.
  14. Christopher Ferrall & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., . "A Sequential Game Model of Sports Championship Series: Theory and Estimation," GSIA Working Papers 1997-38, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Filippin, Antonio & Crosetto, Paolo, 2014. "A Reconsideration of Gender Differences in Risk Attitudes," IZA Discussion Papers 8184, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Aner Sela & Eyal Erez, 2013. "Dynamic contests with resource constraints," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 41(4), pages 863-882, October.
  3. Derek Clark & Tore Nilssen, 2013. "Learning by doing in contests," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(1), pages 329-343, July.
  4. Vincenzo Scoppa, 2013. "Fatigue And Team Performance In Soccer: Evidence From The Fifa World Cup And The Uefa European Championship," Working Papers 201301, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza (Ex Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica).
  5. Philip Brookins & Dmitry Ryvkin, 2014. "An experimental study of bidding in contests of incomplete information," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 245-261, June.
  6. 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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