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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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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. 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).
    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. Christiane Schwieren & Doris Weichselbaumer, 2008. "Does competition enhance performance or cheating? A laboratory experiment," Economics working papers 2008-01, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    4. Carmen Beviá & Luis C. Corchón, 2006. "Rational Sabotage in Cooperative Production with Heterogeneous Agents," Economics Working Papers we20090204, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
    5. 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.
    6. Harbring, Christine & Irlenbusch, Bernd, 2004. "Incentives in Tournaments with Endogenous Prize Selection," IZA Discussion Papers 1340, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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