Incentive effects and overcrowding in tournaments: An experimental analysis
This study reports experiments that examine outcomes when agents choose between a payment scheme that rewards based on absolute performance (i.e., piece rate) and a scheme that rewards based on relative performance (i.e., a tournament). Holding total payments in the tournament constant, performance is higher when the tournament option is winner-take-all compared to a graduated tournament (i.e., second and third-place performers also receive a payment). Performance is higher in the winner-take all tournaments even among participants that choose the piece-rate option. While there is a modest amount of overcrowding, there are no significant differences in overcrowding across conditions. Entry rates into the tournament and the relative ability of tournament entrants (compared to non-entrants in the same condition) are higher in the graduated tournament condition than the winner-take-all conditions. Consequently, the winner-take-all tournament is more efficient than the graduated tournament (incentive effects are stronger and the overcrowding is about the same), but the graduated tournament provides a more effective mechanism to identify the most capable performer in a talent pool. Copyright Economic Science Association 2007
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
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.:
- Nalbantian, Haig & Schotter, Andrew, 1994.
"Productivity Under Group Incentives: An Experimental Study,"
94-04, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
- Nalbantian, Haig R & Schotter, Andrew, 1997. "Productivity under Group Incentives: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 314-41, June.
- Jerry R. Green & Nancy L. Stokey, 1982.
"A Comparison of Tournaments and Contracts,"
NBER Working Papers
0840, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert Gibbons & Kevin J. Murphy, 1989.
"Relative Performance Evaluation for Chief Executive Officers,"
NBER Working Papers
2944, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert Gibbons & Kevin J. Murphy, 1990. "Relative performance evaluation for chief executive officers," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(3), pages 30-51, February.
- Gibbons, R. & Murphy, K.J., 1989. "Relative Performance Evaluation For Chief Executive Officers," Working papers 532, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Barry J. Nalebuff & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1983. "Prices and Incentives: Towards a General Theory of Compensation and Competition," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(1), pages 21-43, Spring.
- van Dijk, Frans & Sonnemans, Joep & van Winden, Frans, 2001.
"Incentive systems in a real effort experiment,"
European Economic Review,
Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 187-214, February.
- De Vany, Arthur S & Walls, W David, 1997. "The Market for Motion Pictures: Rank, Revenue, and Survival," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(4), pages 783-97, October.
- 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.
- Brown, Paul M., 1995. "Learning from experience, reference points, and decision costs," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 381-399, August.
- Brown, Paul M., 1998. "Experimental evidence on the importance of competing for profits on forecasting accuracy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 259-269, January.
- Chan, William, 1996. "External Recruitment versus Internal Promotion," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(4), pages 555-70, October.
- 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.
- Bhattacharya, Sudipto & Guasch, J Luis, 1988. "Heterogeneity, Tournaments, and Hierarchies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 867-81, August.
- Tsoulouhas, Theofanis, 1999. "Do tournaments solve the two-sided moral hazard problem?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 275-294, November.
- Hans K. Hvide, 2000.
"Tournament Rewards and Risk Taking,"
Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers
0163, Econometric Society.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bengt Holmstrom, 1981.
"Moral Hazard in Teams,"
471, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Xu, Peng, 1997. "Executive Salaries as Tournament Prizes and Executive Bonuses as Managerial Incentives in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 319-346, September.
- Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Michael L. Bognanno, 1988.
"Do Tournaments Have Incentive Effects?,"
NBER Working Papers
2638, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Harbring, Christine & Irlenbusch, Bernd, 2003. "An experimental study on tournament design," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 443-464, August.
- Uri Gneezy & Muriel Niederle & Aldo Rustichini, 2003. "Performance in Competitive Environments: Gender Differences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1049-1074.
- Vandegrift, Donald & Brown, Paul, 2003. "Task difficulty, incentive effects, and the selection of high-variance strategies: an experimental examination of tournament behavior," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 481-497, August.
- Christopher Ferrall, 1996. "Promotions and Incentives in Partnerships: Evidence from Major U.S. Law Firms," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(4), pages 811-27, November.
- Bognanno, Michael L, 2001. "Corporate Tournaments," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 290-315, April.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:10:y:2007:i:4:p:345-368. 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: (Sonal Shukla)or (Rebekah McClure)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.