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Positive Self-Image In Tournaments

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  • Luís Santos-Pinto

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Luís Santos-Pinto, 2010. "Positive Self-Image In Tournaments," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(2), pages 475-496, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:51:y:2010:i:2:p:475-496
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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 841-864, October.
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    5. Winston Koh, 1992. "A note on modelling tournaments," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 55(3), pages 297-308, October.
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    7. Menkhoff, Lukas & Schmidt, Ulrich & Brozynski, Torsten, 2006. "The impact of experience on risk taking, overconfidence, and herding of fund managers: Complementary survey evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(7), pages 1753-1766, October.
    8. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1983. "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(1), pages 7-45, January.
    9. de la Rosa, Leonidas Enrique, 2011. "Overconfidence and moral hazard," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 429-451.
    10. Thomas Oberlechner & Carol Osler, 2009. "Overconfidence in Currency Markets," Working Papers 02, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School.
    11. 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.
    12. Hvide, Hans K., 2002. "Pragmatic beliefs and overconfidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 15-28, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sandra Ludwig & Julia Nafziger, 2011. "Beliefs about overconfidence," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 70(4), pages 475-500, April.
    2. Vanessa Mertins & Wolfgang Hoffeld, 2013. "Do Overconfident Workers Cooperate Less? The Relationship between Overconfidence and Cooperation in Team Production," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201313, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
    3. repec:spr:grdene:v:27:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s10726-018-9575-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. de la Rosa, Leonidas Enrique, 2011. "Overconfidence and moral hazard," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 429-451.
    5. Legge, Stefan & Schmid, Lukas, 2013. "Rankings, Random Successes, and Individual Performance," Economics Working Paper Series 1340, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    6. Ludwig, Sandra & Wichardt, Philipp C. & Wickhorst, Hanke, 2011. "Overconfidence can improve an agent's relative and absolute performance in contests," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 110(3), pages 193-196, March.
    7. Valeria Maggian & Antonio Nicolò, 2016. "The wrong man for the job: biased beliefs and job mismatching," Post-Print halshs-01324733, HAL.
    8. Dohmen, Thomas, 2014. "Behavioral labor economics: Advances and future directions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 71-85.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines

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