Relative Performance Compensation, Contests, and Dynamic Incentives
Contests (or tournaments) are pervasive in organizations. They help performance evaluation by eliminating common shocks affecting agents' performance. However, tournaments are less effective when participants have heterogeneous ability because participants may conclude that the ability gap is too large to be overcome by their effort. Our theoretical analysis shows that a similar loss of motivation arises when tournaments take place over multiple periods because interim performance acts in a way that is similar to heterogeneous ability. Analyzing the sales contests organized by a commodities company, we document that winning participants decrease their effort as their lead extends, whereas the effort of trailing participants fades only when the gap to a winning position is very large. We also show that, on average, when contests are introduced they induce a higher level of effort among participants, although the incentives weaken as the number of participants increases. Finally, we demonstrate that although retailers respond to the multiple performance dimensions of the incentive program in part by shifting effort toward sales of more expensive products, they channel most of the increased effort toward reaching more customers.
Volume (Year): 55 (2009)
Issue (Month): 8 (August)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA|
Web page: http://www.informs.org/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Bull, Clive & Schotter, Andrew & Weigelt, Keith, 1985.
"Tournaments and Piece Rates: An Experimental Study,"
85-21, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
- Bull, Clive & Schotter, Andrew & Weigelt, Keith, 1987. "Tournaments and Piece Rates: An Experimental Study," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(1), pages 1-33, February.
- Bengt Holmstrom, 1982.
"Moral Hazard in Teams,"
Bell Journal of Economics,
The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 324-340, Autumn.
- Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Michael L. Bognanno, 1988.
"Do Tournaments Have Incentive Effects?,"
NBER Working Papers
2638, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Moldovanu, Benny & Sela, Aner, 1999.
"The Optimal Allocation of Prizes in Contests,"
Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications
99-75, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
- Imran Rasul & Iwan Barankay & Orana Bandiera, 2005.
"Social preferences and the response to incentives: Evidence from personnel data,"
Natural Field Experiments
00212, The Field Experiments Website.
- Oriana Bandiera & Iwan Barankay & Imran Rasul, 2005. "Social Preferences and the Response to Incentives: Evidence from Personnel Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 917-962.
- O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), 1999. "Handbook of Labor Economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 3, number 3.
- 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.
- Slade, Margaret E, 1996. "Multitask Agency and Contract Choice: An Empirical Exploration," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(2), pages 465-86, May.
- Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
- Bengt Holmstrom & Paul R. Milgrom, 1985.
"Aggregation and Linearity in the Provision of Intertemporal Incentives,"
Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers
742, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1987. "Aggregation and Linearity in the Provision of Intertemporal Incentives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 303-28, March.
- Al-Najjar, Nabil I., 2008. "Large games and the law of large numbers," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 1-34, September.
- Edward P. Lazear & Sherwin Rosen, 1979.
"Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts,"
NBER Working Papers
0401, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alannah Orrison & Andrew Schotter & Keith Weigelt, 2004. "Multiperson Tournaments: An Experimental Examination," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(2), pages 268-279, February.
- Edward P. Lazear, 1996.
"Performance Pay and Productivity,"
NBER Working Papers
5672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Main, Brian G M & O'Reilly, Charles A, III & Wade, James, 1993. "Top Executive Pay: Tournament or Teamwork?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(4), pages 606-28, October.
- Anderson, T. W. & Hsiao, Cheng, 1982. "Formulation and estimation of dynamic models using panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 47-82, January.
- Brickley, James A. & Zimmerman, Jerold L., 2001. "Changing incentives in a multitask environment: evidence from a top-tier business school," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 367-396, December.
- Sherwin Rosen, 1985.
"Prizes and Incentives in Elimination Tournaments,"
NBER Working Papers
1668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:55:y:2009:i:8:p:1306-1320. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.