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How Many Winners Are Good to Have? On Tournaments with Sabotage

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Author Info

  • Harbring, Christine

    ()
    (RWTH Aachen University)

  • Irlenbusch, Bernd

    ()
    (University of Cologne)

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    Abstract

    From an employer's perspective a tournament should induce agents to exert productive activities but refrain from destructive ones. We experimentally test the predictive power of a tournament model which suggests that – within a reasonable framework – productive and destructive activities are not influenced neither by the number of agents taking part in the tournament nor by the fraction of the winner prizes. Our results clearly confirm that sabotage in tournaments indeed occurs. While tournament size has virtually no effect on behavior, a balanced fraction of winner and loser prizes seems to particularly enhance productive activities.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1777.

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    Length: 32 pages
    Date of creation: Sep 2005
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: published in: Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2008, 65 (3), 682-702
    Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1777

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    Related research

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

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    References

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    Cited by:
    1. Carpenter, Jeffrey P. & Matthews, Peter Hans & Schirm, John, 2007. "Tournaments and Office Politics: Evidence from a Real Effort Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 2972, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Uschi Backes-Gellner & Kerstin Pull, 2007. "Tournament Incentives and Contestant Heterogeneity: Empirical Evidence from the Organizational Practice," Working Papers 0075, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
    3. Harbring, Christine & Irlenbusch, Bernd, 2004. "Incentives in Tournaments with Endogenous Prize Selection," IZA Discussion Papers 1340, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Schwieren, Christiane & Weichselbaumer, Doris, 2008. "Does Competition Enhance Performance or Cheating? A Laboratory Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 3275, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Carmen Bevi? & Luis C. Corch?n, 2006. "Rational Sabotage in Cooperative Production with Heterogeneous Agents," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 663.06, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
    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.

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