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A Primer On Cardinal Versus Ordinal Tournaments


  • Theofanis Tsoulouhas


type="main" xml:id="ecin12168-abs-0001"> This paper fills in a gap in the tournament literature by developing a framework that can be used to analyze both cardinal and ordinal tournaments, as well as piece rates. The analysis aims to obtain a Pareto ranking of cardinal versus ordinal tournaments, which is an open question in the literature. The analysis shows that, surprisingly, cardinal tournaments are superior to ordinal tournaments. The rationale is that, by utilizing all the available information more efficiently, cardinal tournaments allow the principal to implement higher power incentives, which makes them superior even though they restrict the form of the contract more than ordinal tournaments . ( JEL D82, D21)

Suggested Citation

  • Theofanis Tsoulouhas, 2015. "A Primer On Cardinal Versus Ordinal Tournaments," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 53(2), pages 1224-1235, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecinqu:v:53:y:2015:i:2:p:1224-1235

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    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory


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