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Women and Competition in Elimination Tournaments: Evidence from Professional Tennis Data

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Author Info

  • Lallemand, Thierry

    ()
    (Free University of Brussels)

  • Plasman, Robert

    ()
    (Free University of Brussels)

  • Rycx, Francois

    ()
    (Free University of Brussels)

Abstract

This paper examines how professional female tennisplayers react to: i) prize incentives and ii) heterogeneity in ex ante players' abilities. It is found that a larger prize spread encourages women to increase effort, even when controlling for many tournament and player characteristics. Further results indicate that uneven contests lead favourites to win more games and underdogs to be less performing. They also show that the performance differential between players increases with the ranking differential. These findings suggest that the outcome of a match is more linked to players' abilities than to players' incentives to adjust effort according to success chances.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1843.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Sports Economics, 2008, 9 (1), 3-19
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1843

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Keywords: performance; sports economics; tournaments; incentives; women;

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References

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  1. Sherwin Rosen, 1985. "Prizes and Incentives in Elimination Tournaments," NBER Working Papers 1668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Sunde, Uwe, 2003. "Potential, Prizes and Performance: Testing Tournament Theory with Professional Tennis Data," IZA Discussion Papers 947, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Uri Gneezy & Aldo Rustichini, 2004. "Gender and Competition at a Young Age," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 377-381, May.
  4. Ehrenberg, Ronald G & Bognanno, Michael L, 1990. "Do Tournaments Have Incentive Effects?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1307-24, December.
  5. 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.
  6. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  7. Stefan Szymanski, 2003. "The Economic Design of Sporting Contests," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1137-1187, December.
  8. Abrevaya, Jason, 2002. "Ladder tournaments and underdogs: lessons from professional bowling," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 87-101, January.
  9. Uri Gneezy & Muriel Niederle & Aldo Rustichini, 2003. "Performance In Competitive Environments: Gender Differences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1049-1074, August.
  10. Peter Von Allmen, 2001. "Is the Reward System in NASCAR Efficient?," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 2(1), pages 62-79, February.
  11. Eckel, Catherine C & Grossman, Philip J, 1998. "Are Women Less Selfish Than Men? Evidence from Dictator Experiments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 726-35, May.
  12. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  13. 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.
  14. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
  15. Maloney Michael T. & Terkun Kristina, 2002. "Road Warrior Booty: Prize Structures in Motorcycle Racing," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-18, April.
  16. James G. Lynch & Jeffrey S. Zax, 2000. "The Rewards to Running," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 1(4), pages 323-340, November.
  17. Michael T. Maloney & Robert E. McCormick, 2000. "The Response of Workers to Wages in Tournaments," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 1(2), pages 99-123, May.
  18. Sue Fernie & David Metcalf, 1999. "It's Not What You Pay it's the Way that You Pay it and that's What Gets Results: Jockeys' Pay and Performance," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 13(2), pages 385-411, 06.
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