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Self-selection and the Efficiency of Tournaments

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  • Tor Eriksson

    ()
    (Department of economics - University of Aarhus)

  • Sabrina Teyssier

    ()
    (Thurgau Institute of Economics - Universität Konstanz)

  • Marie Claire Villeval

    ()
    (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - École Normale Supérieure (ENS) - Lyon - PRES Université de Lyon - Université Jean Monnet - Saint-Etienne - Université Claude Bernard - Lyon I)

Abstract

The literature has shown that the overall efficiency of exogenously imposed tournaments is reduced by a high variance in performance. This paper reports results from an experiment analyzing whether allowing subjects to self-select into different payment schemes is reducing the variability of performance in tournaments. We show that when the subjects choose to enter a tournament instead of a piece-rate payment scheme, the average effort is higher and the between-subject variance is substantially lower than when the same payment scheme is imposed. Mainly based on risk aversion, sorting is efficiency-enhancing since it increases the homogeneity of the contestants.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number halshs-00451600.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Publication status: Published, Economic Inquiry, 2009, 47, 3, pp. 530-548
Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00451600

Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00451600
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Keywords: Tournament; Performance Pay ; Incentives ; Sorting ; Selection ; Experiment;

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  1. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Michael L. Bognanno, 1988. "Do Tournaments Have Incentive Effects?," NBER Working Papers 2638, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Alannah Orrison & Andrew Schotter & Keith Weigelt, 2004. "Multiperson Tournaments: An Experimental Examination," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(2), pages 268-279, February.
  3. van Dijk, Frans & Sonnemans, Joep & van Winden, Frans, 2001. "Incentive systems in a real effort experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 187-214, February.
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  11. Marie-Claire Villeval & Tor Eriksson, 2004. "Other-Regarding Preferences and Performance Pay – An Experiment on Incentives and Sorting," Working Papers 0408, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
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  20. repec:wop:humbsf:2001-2 is not listed on IDEAS
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  23. Nalbantian, Haig R & Schotter, Andrew, 1997. "Productivity under Group Incentives: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 314-41, June.
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  27. Edward P. Lazear & Ulrike Malmendier & Roberto A. Weber, 2012. "Sorting in Experiments with Application to Social Preferences," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 136-63, January.
  28. Lise Vesterlund & Muriel Niederle, 2004. "Do Women shy away from Competition?," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 652, Econometric Society.
  29. Bellemare, Charles & Shearer, Bruce S., 2006. "Sorting, Incentives and Risk Preferences: Evidence from a Field Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 2227, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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