Ambiguity aversion as a reason to choose tournaments
AbstractWe test the implications of ambiguity aversion in a principal-agent problem with multiple agents. When output distributions are uncertain, models of ambiguity aversion suggest that tournaments may become more attractive than independent wage contracts, in contrast to the case where output distributions are known. We do so by presenting agents with a choice between tournaments and independent contracts, which are designed in a way that under uncertainty about output distribution (that is, under ambiguity), ambiguity averse agents should typically prefer tournaments, while ambiguity neutral agents prefer independent contracts, independent of their degree of risk aversion. This is the case, because the tournament removes all ambiguity about the equilibrium wages. We compare the share of participants who choose the tournament under ambiguity with the share of participants choosing the tournament in a control treatment, where output distributions are know. As the theory predicts, we find indeed that under ambiguity the share of agents who choose the tournaments is higher than in the case of known output distributions.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics in its series Jena Economic Research Papers with number 2011-033.
Date of creation: 11 Jul 2011
Date of revision:
Ambiguity aversion; tournaments; Ellsberg urn; contract design;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
- D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics; Underlying Principles
- D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
- M55 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Contracting Devices
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-07-21 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2011-07-21 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2011-07-21 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-HPE-2011-07-21 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
- NEP-MIC-2011-07-21 (Microeconomics)
- NEP-UPT-2011-07-21 (Utility Models & Prospect Theory)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
- Peter Klibanoff & Massimo Marinacci & Sujoy Mukerji, 2002.
"A smooth model of decision making under ambiguity,"
ICER Working Papers - Applied Mathematics Series
11-2003, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research, revised Apr 2003.
- Yoram Halevy, 2007.
"Ellsberg Revisited: An Experimental Study,"
Econometric Society, vol. 75(2), pages 503-536, 03.
- Stefan T. Trautmann & Ferdinand M. Vieider & Peter P. Wakker, 2011. "Preference Reversals for Ambiguity Aversion," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(7), pages 1320-1333, July.
- Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2005.
"Do Women Shy Away From Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?,"
NBER Working Papers
11474, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2007. "Do Women Shy Away from Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1067-1101, 08.
- Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2005. "Do Women Shy Away from Competition? Do Men Compete too Much?," Discussion Papers 04-030, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
- Fox, Craig R & Tversky, Amos, 1995. "Ambiguity Aversion and Comparative Ignorance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 585-603, August.
- Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Markus Pasche).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.