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Testing the incentive effects in tournaments with a superstar

  • Tanaka, Ryuichi
  • Ishino, Kazutoshi

This paper studies the effects of the levels and the structure of prizes on the efforts of agents with heterogeneous ability in a tournament model. In particular, we examine how the presence of a highly able agent affects the effort levels of other agents as well as the effects of the total and the marginal prizes. Using panel data from the Japan Golf Tour, we estimate the effects of the presence of a superstar, and the size of the total and marginal prizes on the scores of professional golfers. We find that the presence of a superstar adversely affects the scores of the other players; that the larger the size of the total prize, the better are the scores; and that the larger the marginal prizes that players face at the end of the third round, the better the scores they achieve in the final round.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of the Japanese and International Economies.

Volume (Year): 26 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 393-404

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jjieco:v:26:y:2012:i:3:p:393-404
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622903

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  1. Ehrenberg, Ronald G & Bognanno, Michael L, 1990. "Do Tournaments Have Incentive Effects?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1307-24, December.
  2. Jonathan Guryan & Kory Kroft & Matt Notowidigdo, 2007. "Peer Effects in the Workplace: Evidence from Random Groupings in Professional Golf Tournaments," NBER Working Papers 13422, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Dixit, Avinash K, 1987. "Strategic Behavior in Contests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 891-98, December.
  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. Green, Jerry & Stokey, Nancy, 1983. "A Comparison of Tournaments and Contracts," Scholarly Articles 3203644, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Lazear, Edward P, 1989. "Pay Equality and Industrial Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 561-80, June.
  7. Benny Moldovanu & Aner Sela, 2001. "The Optimal Allocation of Prizes in Contests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 542-558, June.
  8. Drago, Robert & Garvey, Gerald T, 1998. "Incentives for Helping on the Job: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 1-25, January.
  9. Szymanski, Stefan & Valletti, Tommaso M., 2005. "Incentive effects of second prizes," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 467-481, June.
  10. Stein, William E, 2002. " Asymmetric Rent-Seeking with More Than Two Contestants," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 113(3-4), pages 325-36, December.
  11. Stefan Szymanski, 2003. "The Economic Design of Sporting Contests," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1137-1187, December.
  12. Knoeber, Charles R & Thurman, Walter N, 1994. "Testing the Theory of Tournaments: An Empirical Analysis of Broiler Production," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(2), pages 155-79, April.
  13. Jennifer Brown, 2011. "Quitters Never Win: The (Adverse) Incentive Effects of Competing with Superstars," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(5), pages 982 - 1013.
  14. Bull, Clive & Schotter, Andrew & Weigelt, Keith, 1985. "Tournaments and Piece Rates: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 85-21, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  15. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Michael L. Bognanno, 1990. "The incentive effects of tournaments revisited: Evidence from the European PGA tour," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(3), pages 74-88, February.
  16. Orszag, Jonathan M., 1994. "A new look at incentive effects and golf tournaments," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 77-88, September.
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