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Tournaments and Office Politics: Evidence from a Real Effort Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Jeffrey Carpenter
  • Peter Hans Matthews
  • John Schirm

Abstract

Tournaments can elicit more effort but sabotage may attenuate the effect of competition. Because it is hard to separate effort and ability, the evidence on tournaments is thin. There is even less evidence on sabotage because these acts often consist of subjective peer evaluation or "office politics." We discuss real effort experiments in which quality adjusted output and office politics are compared under piece rates and tournaments and find that tournaments increase effort only in the absence of office politics. Competitors subvert each other more in tournaments, and as a result, workers produce less because they expect to be sabotaged. (D82, M54)

Suggested Citation

  • Jeffrey Carpenter & Peter Hans Matthews & John Schirm, 2010. "Tournaments and Office Politics: Evidence from a Real Effort Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 504-517, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:100:y:2010:i:1:p:504-17
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.100.1.504
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • M54 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Management

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    1. Tournaments and Office Politics: Evidence from a Real Effort Experiment (AER 2010) in ReplicationWiki

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