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Tournaments with Gaps

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  • Imhof, Lorens
  • Kräkel, Matthias

Abstract

A standard tournament contract specifies only tournament prizes. If agents’ performance is measured on a cardinal scale, the principal can complement the tournament contract by a gap which defines the minimum distance by which the best performing agent must beat the second best to receive the winner prize. We analyze a tournament with two risk averse agents. Under unlimited liability, the principal strictly benefits from a gap by partially insuring the agents and thereby reducing labor costs. If the agents are protected by limited liability, the principal sticks to the standard tournament.

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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 411.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:411

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Keywords: limited liability; moral hazard; risk aversion; tournament; unlimited liability;

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  1. Canice Prendergast & Robert H. Topel, 1993. "Favoritism in Organizations," NBER Working Papers 4427, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Anja Schöttner, 2008. "Fixed-prize tournaments versus first-price auctions in innovation contests," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 57-71, April.
  3. Imhof, Lorens & Kräkel, Matthias, 2013. "Bonus Pools and the Informativeness Principle," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 413, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Gürtler, Oliver, 2011. "The first-order approach in rank-order tournaments," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 111(3), pages 185-187, June.
  7. Pratt, John W & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1987. "Proper Risk Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 143-54, January.
  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. Malcomson, James M, 1986. "Rank-Order Contracts for a Principal with Many Agents," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(5), pages 807-17, October.
  10. Hisaki Kono & Nobuyuki Yagi, 2008. "Heterogeneous Contests And Less Informative Signals," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 59(1), pages 113-126.
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