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Heterogeneity and performance in tournaments: a test for incentive effects using professional tennis data

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  • Uwe Sunde

Abstract

This article provides an approach to test whether greater heterogeneity of contestants leads to lower effort exertion in elimination tournaments, as predicted by conventional tournament models. This prediction is difficult to test with real world data because the effort is difficult to measure. Based on a simple behavioural model, testable implications are derived and an identification strategy is suggested that allows to test for an incentive effect of heterogeneity even when the effort is unobservable. The application uses data from professional tennis tournaments and provides evidence that heterogeneity affects the incentives to exert effort.

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  • Uwe Sunde, 2009. "Heterogeneity and performance in tournaments: a test for incentive effects using professional tennis data," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(25), pages 3199-3208.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:41:y:2009:i:25:p:3199-3208
    DOI: 10.1080/00036840802243789
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    9. Ehrenberg, Ronald G & Bognanno, Michael L, 1990. "Do Tournaments Have Incentive Effects?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1307-1324, December.
    10. 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.
    11. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Michael L. Bognanno, 1990. "The Incentive Effects of Tournaments Revisited: Evidence from the European PGA Tour," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(3), pages 74, April.
    12. Klaassen F. J G M & Magnus J. R., 2001. "Are Points in Tennis Independent and Identically Distributed? Evidence From a Dynamic Binary Panel Data Model," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 96, pages 500-509, June.
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