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Optimal Tournament Contracts for Heterogeneous Workers

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  • Gürtler, Oliver
  • Kräkel, Matthias

Abstract

We analyze the optimal design of rank-order tournaments with heterogeneous workers. Iftournament prizes do not differ between the workers(uniform prizes), as in the previous tournament literature, the outcome will be ineffcient. In the case of limited liability, the employer may benefit from implementing more than first-best effort. We show that the employer can use individual prizes that satisfy a self-commitment condition and induce effcient incentives at the same time, thus solving a fundamental dilemma in tournament theory. Individual prizes exhibit two major advantages - they allow the extraction of worker rents and the adjustment of individual incentives, which will be important for the employer if he cannot rely on handicaps.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich in its series Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems with number 234.

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Date of creation: May 2008
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Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:234

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Keywords: heterogenous workers; limited liability; rank-order tournaments; self commitment;

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  1. Baker, George & Gibbs, Michael & Holmstrom, Bengt, 1994. "The Internal Economics of the Firm: Evidence from Personnel Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 881-919, November.
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  15. Edward P. Lazear & Sherwin Rosen, 1979. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," NBER Working Papers 0401, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Hoffler, Felix & Sliwka, Dirk, 2003. "Do new brooms sweep clean? When and why dismissing a manager increases the subordinates' performance," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(5), pages 877-890, October.
  17. Eriksson, Tor, 1999. "Executive Compensation and Tournament Theory: Empirical Tests on Danish Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(2), pages 262-80, April.
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  19. Bhattacharya, Sudipto & Guasch, J Luis, 1988. "Heterogeneity, Tournaments, and Hierarchies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 867-81, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Loukas Balafoutas & Glenn Dutcher & Florian Lindner & Dmitry Ryvkin, 2012. "The optimal allocation of prizes in tournaments of heterogeneous agents," Working Papers 2012-08, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  2. Gürtler, Marc & Gürtler, Oliver, 2013. "The optimality of heterogeneous tournaments," Working Papers IF42V1, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Institute of Finance.
  3. Oliver Gürtler, 2010. "Collusion in homogeneous and heterogeneous tournaments," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 100(3), pages 265-280, July.
  4. Kräkel, Matthias & Schöttner, Anja, 2010. "Technology choice, relative performance pay, and worker heterogeneity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 748-758, December.

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