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Sequential teamwork in competitive environments: Theory and evidence from swimming data


  • Neugart, Michael
  • Richiardi, Matteo G.


Many tasks require the input by more than one person very often with members of the team contributing sequentially. However, team production is plagued by disincentive problems. We investigate individual incentives to team production with sequential contributions and competing teams. We show that earlier contributors free-ride on team members contributing later on. We test our predictions on sports data using an athlete's performance in the individual race as a natural control for his relay performance. Our empirical findings strongly support the theoretical claims.

Suggested Citation

  • Neugart, Michael & Richiardi, Matteo G., 2013. "Sequential teamwork in competitive environments: Theory and evidence from swimming data," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 186-205.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:63:y:2013:i:c:p:186-205 DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2013.07.006

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Team production; Contest; Intergroup competition; Sequential contribution; Free-riding;

    JEL classification:

    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • D20 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - General
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General


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