Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Fairness and Desert in Tournaments

Contents:

Author Info

  • David Gill
  • Rebecca Stone

Abstract

We develop a model to describe the behavior of agents who care about receiving their just deserts in competitive situations. In particular we analyze the strategic behaviour of two identical desert-motivated agents in a rank-order tournament. Each agent is assumed to be loss averse about an endogenous and meritocratically determined reference point that represents her perceived entitlement. Sufficiently strong desert concerns render the usual symmetric equilibrium unstable or non-existent and allow asymmetric desert equilibria to arise in which one agent works hard while the other slacks off. As a result, agents may prefer competition for status to a random allocation, even when the supply of status is fixed. When employees are desert-motivated we find that an employer may prefer a tournament to relative performance pay linear in the difference in the agents` outputs if output noise is sufficiently fat-tailed or if the employer can use the tournament to induce an asymmetric equilibrium.

Download Info

If 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.
File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/working_papers/paper279.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 279.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 01 Sep 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:279

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Manor Rd. Building, Oxford, OX1 3UQ
Email:
Web page: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Desert; Tournament; Loss Aversion; Status Competition; Relative;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
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.:
as in new window
  1. 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.
  2. Jed DeVaro, 2005. "Internal Promotion Competitions in Firms," Labor and Demography 0508005, EconWPA.
  3. SHALEV, Jonathan, . "Loss aversion equilibrium," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1456, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  4. James Konow, 2003. "Which Is the Fairest One of All? A Positive Analysis of Justice Theories," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1188-1239, December.
  5. Armin Falk & Urs Fischbacher, . "A Theory of Reciprocity," IEW - Working Papers 006, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  6. Pierpaolo Battigalli & Martin Dufwenberg, 2005. "Dynamic Psychological Games," Working Papers 287, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  7. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  8. Barry J. Nalebuff & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1983. "Prices and Incentives: Towards a General Theory of Compensation and Competition," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(1), pages 21-43, Spring.
  9. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  10. Gill, David & Stone, Rebecca, 2009. "Fairness and desert in tournaments," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0903, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  11. Pedro Rey-Biel, 2007. "Inequity Aversion and Team Incentives," Working Papers 319, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  12. Botond Koszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2005. "A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000341, UCLA Department of Economics.
  13. David Gill & Victoria Prowse, 2012. "A Structural Analysis of Disappointment Aversion in a Real Effort Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 469-503, February.
  14. Sheremeta, Roman & Chowdhury, Subhasish, 2010. "A generalized Tullock contest," MPRA Paper 52102, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  15. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, . "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," IEW - Working Papers 004, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  16. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
  17. Varian, Hal R., 1974. "Equity, envy, and efficiency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 63-91, September.
  18. James Konow, 2001. "A Positive Theory of Economic Fairness," Levine's Working Paper Archive 563824000000000138, David K. Levine.
  19. Norman Frohlich & Joe Oppenheimer & Anja Kurki, 2004. "Modeling Other-Regarding Preferences and an Experimental Test," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 119(1_2), pages 91-117, 04.
  20. Burrows, Paul & Loomes, Graham, 1994. "The Impact of Fairness on Bargaining Behaviour," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 201-21.
  21. Harbring, Christine & Irlenbusch, Bernd, 2003. "An experimental study on tournament design," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 443-464, August.
  22. O'Keeffe, Mary & Viscusi, W Kip & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1984. "Economic Contests: Comparative Reward Schemes," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(1), pages 27-56, January.
  23. Frans van Dijk & Joep Sonnemans & Frans van Winden, 2000. "Incentive Systems in a Real Effort Experiment," CESifo Working Paper Series 272, CESifo Group Munich.
  24. Malcomson, James M, 1984. "Work Incentives, Hierarchy, and Internal Labor Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(3), pages 486-507, June.
  25. Uri Gneezy & John List & George Wu, 2006. "The uncertainty effect: When a risky prospect is valued less than its worst possible outcome," Framed Field Experiments 00152, The Field Experiments Website.
  26. Dominique Demougin & Claude Fluet, 2003. "Inequity Aversion in Tournaments," Cahiers de recherche 0322, CIRPEE.
  27. Sheremeta, Roman, 2009. "Experimental Comparison of Multi-Stage and One-Stage Contests," MPRA Paper 49884, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  28. Green, Jerry R & Stokey, Nancy L, 1983. "A Comparison of Tournaments and Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(3), pages 349-64, June.
  29. Rabin, Matthew, 1997. "Psychology and Economics," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt8jd5z5j2, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  30. M. Rabin, 2001. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Levine's Working Paper Archive 511, David K. Levine.
  31. Dufwenberg, M. & Kirchsteiger, G., 1998. "A Theory of Sequential Reciprocity," Discussion Paper 1998-37, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  32. Alexander W. Cappelen & Astri D. Hole & Erik Ø. Sørensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2005. "The Pluralism of Fairness Ideals: An Experimental Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 1611, CESifo Group Munich.
  33. Edward P. Lazear & Sherwin Rosen, 1979. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," NBER Working Papers 0401, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  34. James Konow, 2000. "Fair Shares: Accountability and Cognitive Dissonance in Allocation Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1072-1091, September.
  35. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2000. "Fairness, incentives, and contractual choices," Munich Reprints in Economics 20659, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  36. Geanakoplos, John & Pearce, David & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1989. "Psychological games and sequential rationality," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 60-79, March.
  37. Hideshi Itoh, 2004. "Moral Hazard and Other-Regarding Preferences," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 55(1), pages 18-45.
  38. 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.
  39. Grund, Christian & Sliwka, Dirk, 2002. "Envy and Compassion in Tournaments," IZA Discussion Papers 647, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  40. Robert H. Frank, 2005. "Positional Externalities Cause Large and Preventable Welfare Losses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 137-141, May.
  41. Loomes, Graham & Sugden, Robert, 1986. "Disappointment and Dynamic Consistency in Choice under Uncertainty," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(2), pages 271-82, April.
  42. Botond Koszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2006. "Reference-Dependent Risk Attitudes," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001267, UCLA Department of Economics.
  43. Nicholas Barberis & Ming Huang & Richard H. Thaler, 2006. "Individual Preferences, Monetary Gambles, and Stock Market Participation: A Case for Narrow Framing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1069-1090, September.
  44. Ed Hopkins & Tatiana Kornienko, 2004. "Running to Keep in the Same Place: Consumer Choice as a Game of Status," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1085-1107, September.
  45. Dixit, Avinash K, 1987. "Strategic Behavior in Contests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 891-98, December.
  46. Pierpaolo Battigalli & Martin Dufwenberg, 2007. "Guilt in Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 170-176, May.
  47. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-41, September.
  48. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:279. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Caroline Wise).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.