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Tournament Incentives in the Field: Gender Differences in the Workplace

  • Josse Delfgaauw
  • Robert Dur
  • Joeri Sol
  • Willem Verbeke

We ran a field experiment in a Dutch retail chain consisting of 128 stores. In a random sample of these stores, we introduced short-term sales competitions among subsets of stores. We find that sales competitions have a large effect on sales growth, but only in stores where the store’s manager and a sufficiently large fraction of the employees have the same gender. Remarkably, results are alike for sales competitions with and without monetary rewards, suggesting a high symbolic value of winning a tournament.

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File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/10.1086/667996
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File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/667996
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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Labor Economics.

Volume (Year): 31 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 305 - 326

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:doi:10.1086/667996
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  1. Kosfeld, Michael & Neckermann, Susanne, 2010. "Getting More Work for Nothing? Symbolic Awards and Worker Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 5040, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Uri Gneezy & Aldo Rustichini, 2004. "Gender and Competition at a Young Age," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 377-381, May.
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  10. Dargnies, Marie-Pierre, 2011. "Men too sometimes shy away from competition: The case of team competition," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2011-201, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  11. Marianne Bertrand & Kevin F. Hallock, 2000. "The Gender Gap in Top Corporate Jobs," NBER Working Papers 7931, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. Edward P. Lazear & Sherwin Rosen, 1979. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," NBER Working Papers 0401, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. 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.
  15. Green, Jerry & Stokey, Nancy, 1983. "A Comparison of Tournaments and Contracts," Scholarly Articles 3203644, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  16. Jordi Blanes i Vidal & Mareike Nossol, 2011. "Tournaments Without Prizes: Evidence from Personnel Records," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(10), pages 1721-1736, October.
  17. Ray Reagans, 2005. "Preferences, Identity, and Competition: Predicting Tie Strength from Demographic Data," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(9), pages 1374-1383, September.
  18. Polachek, Solomon William, 1981. "Occupational Self-Selection: A Human Capital Approach to Sex Differences in Occupational Structure," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(1), pages 60-69, February.
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