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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. Christian Grund & Dirk Sliwka, 2005. "Envy and Compassion in Tournaments," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(1), pages 187-207, 03.
    2. Wieland Muller & Andrew Schotter, 2007. "Workaholics and Drop Outs in Optimal Organizations," Working Papers 0022, New York University, Center for Experimental Social Science.
    3. Harbring, Christine & Irlenbusch, Bernd, 2003. "An experimental study on tournament design," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 443-464, August.
    4. Lazear, Edward P, 1989. "Pay Equality and Industrial Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 561-80, June.
    5. Frans van Dijk & Joep Sonnemans & Frans van Winden, 2000. "Incentive Systems in a Real Effort Experiment," CESifo Working Paper Series 272, CESifo Group Munich.
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    8. Eriksson, Tor, 1999. "Executive Compensation and Tournament Theory: Empirical Tests on Danish Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(2), pages 262-80, April.
    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.
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    17. Bull, Clive & Schotter, Andrew & Weigelt, Keith, 1987. "Tournaments and Piece Rates: An Experimental Study," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(1), pages 1-33, February.
    18. Luis Garicano & Ignacio Palacios-Huerta, 2001. "An Empirical Examination of Multidimensional Effort in Tournaments," Working Papers 2001-14, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    19. Georg Kirchsteiger & Ernst Fehr & Simon Gächter, 1997. "Reciprocity as a contract enforcement device: experimental evidence," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5911, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    20. Main, Brian G M & O'Reilly, Charles A, III & Wade, James, 1993. "Top Executive Pay: Tournament or Teamwork?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(4), pages 606-28, October.
    21. 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).
    22. 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.
    23. 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.
    24. Schotter, Andrew & Weigelt, Keith, 1992. "Asymmetric Tournaments, Equal Opportunity Laws, and Affirmative Action: Some Experimental Results," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 511-39, May.
    25. 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.
    26. Weigelt, Keith & Dukerich, Janet & Schotter, Andrew, 1989. "Reactions to discrimination in an incentive pay compensation scheme: A game-theoretic approach," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 26-44, August.
    27. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. Jeffrey Carpenter & Peter Hans Matthews & John Schirm, 2007. "TOURNAMENTS AND OFFICE POLITICS: Evidence from a real effort experiment," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0709, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
    2. Irlenbusch, Bernd & Ruchala, Gabriele K., 2006. "Relative Rewards within Team-Based Compensation," IZA Discussion Papers 2423, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Tor Eriksson & Sabrina Teyssier & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2006. "Effort Self-Selection and the Efficiency of Tournaments," Post-Print halshs-00142876, HAL.
    4. Eriksen, Kristoffer & Kvaløy, Ola & Olsen, Trond, 2008. "Tournaments with price-setting agents," UiS Working Papers in Economics and Finance 2009/5, University of Stavanger.
    5. Oosterbeek, Hessel & Sloof, Randolph & Sonnemans, Joep, 2011. "Rent-seeking versus productive activities in a multi-task experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(5), pages 630-643, June.
    6. 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.
    7. 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).
    8. Bernd Irlenbusch, 2006. "Experimental perspectives on incentives in organisations," Central European Journal of Operations Research, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 1-24, February.

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