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Positive Self-Image In Tournaments

  • Luís Santos-Pinto

This article analyzes the implications of worker overestimation of productivity for firms in which incentives take the form of tournaments. Each worker overestimates his productivity but is aware of the bias in his opponent's self-assessment. The manager of the firm, on the other hand, correctly assesses workers' productivities and self-beliefs when setting tournament prizes. The article shows that, under a variety of circumstances, firms can benefit from worker positive self-image. The article also shows that worker positive self-image can improve welfare in tournaments. In contrast, workers' utility declines due to their own misguided choices. Copyright (2010) by the Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.

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Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association in its journal International Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 51 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (05)
Pages: 475-496

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Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:51:y:2010:i:2:p:475-496
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  1. Brozynski, Torsten & Menkhoff, Lukas & Schmidt, Ulrich, 2004. "The Impact of Experience on Risk Taking, Overconfidence, and Herding of Fund Managers: Complementary Survey Evidence," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-292, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
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  9. Santos-Pinto, Luís & Park, Young-Joon, 2004. "Forecasts of relative performance in tournaments: evidence from the field," MPRA Paper 3144, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 22 Mar 2007.
  10. 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.
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  12. Sanford Grossman & Oliver Hart, . "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 15-80, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  13. Winston Koh, 1992. "A note on modelling tournaments," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 55(3), pages 297-308, October.
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