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Incentives in Tournaments with Endogenous Prize Selection

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  • Harbring, Christine

    ()
    (RWTH Aachen University)

  • Irlenbusch, Bernd

    ()
    (University of Cologne)

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    Abstract

    Tournament incentive schemes offer payments dependent on relative performance and thereby are intended to motivate agents to exert productive effort. Unfortunately, however, an agent may also be tempted to destroy the production of his competitors in order to improve the own relative position. In the present study we investigate whether this sabotage problem is mitigated in a repeated interaction between the agents and the principal. As sabotage can hardly be observed in real-world organizations we employ a controlled experiment. Our data provide clear evidence that agents’ behavior is not only guided by competition between agents but also by the possibility to punish the principal via sabotage.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1340.

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    Length: 31 pages
    Date of creation: Oct 2004
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: published in: Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, 2005, 161 (4), 636-663
    Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1340

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    Related research

    Keywords: relative performance evaluation; reciprocity; personnel economics; sabotage; experiments;

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    References

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    1. Wieland Muller & Andrew Schotter, 2007. "Workaholics and Drop Outs in Optimal Organizations," Working Papers 0022, New York University, Center for Experimental Social Science.
    2. Falk, Armin & Fehr, Ernst & Fischbacher, Urs, 2008. "Testing theories of fairness--Intentions matter," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 287-303, January.
    3. Frans van Dijk & Joep Sonnemans & Frans van Winden, 1998. "Incentive Systems in a Real Effort Experiment," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 98-023/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    4. Harbring, Christine & Irlenbusch, Bernd, 2008. "How many winners are good to have?: On tournaments with sabotage," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 682-702, March.
    5. Abbink, Klaus & Irlenbusch, Bernd & Renner, Elke, 2000. "The moonlighting game: An experimental study on reciprocity and retribution," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 265-277, June.
    6. Christian Grund & Dirk Sliwka, 2002. "Envy and Compassion in Tournaments," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse32_2002, University of Bonn, Germany.
    7. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Michael L. Bognanno, 1990. "The incentive effects of tournaments revisited: Evidence from the European PGA tour," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(3), pages 74-88, February.
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    20. Harbring, Christine & Irlenbusch, Bernd, 2003. "An experimental study on tournament design," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 443-464, August.
    21. 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.
    22. Christine Harbring & Bernd Irlenbusch & Matthias Kräkel & Reinhard Selten, 2004. "Sabotage in Asymmetric Contests – An Experimental Analysis," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse12_2004, University of Bonn, Germany.
    23. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
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    28. Harbring, Christine & Irlenbusch, Bernd, 2005. "How Many Winners Are Good to Have? On Tournaments with Sabotage," IZA Discussion Papers 1777, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. Hessel Oosterbeek & Randolph Sloof & Joep Sonnemans, 2006. "Rent-seeking versus Productive Activities in a Multi-task Experiment," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 06-083/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    2. Jeffrey Carpenter & Peter Hans Matthews & John Schirm, 2010. "Tournaments and Office Politics: Evidence from a Real Effort Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 504-17, March.
    3. Bernd Irlenbusch, 2006. "Experimental perspectives on incentives in organisations," Central European Journal of Operations Research, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 1-24, February.
    4. Kristoffer W. Eriksen & Ola Kvaløy & Trond E. Olsen, 2011. "Tournaments with Prize‐setting Agents," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 113(3), pages 729-753, 09.
    5. Gürtler, Oliver & Harbring, Christine, 2007. "Feedback in Tournaments under Commitment Problems: Theory and Experimental Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 3111, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Tor Eriksson & Sabrina Teyssier & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2006. "Effort Self-Selection and the Efficiency of Tournaments," Post-Print halshs-00142876, HAL.
    7. Christine Harbring, 2006. "The effect of communication in incentive systems-an experimental study," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(5), pages 333-353.
    8. Irlenbusch, Bernd & Ruchala, Gabriele K., 2006. "Relative Rewards within Team-Based Compensation," IZA Discussion Papers 2423, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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