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The Optimality of Heterogeneous Tournaments

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  • Marc Gürtler
  • Oliver Gürtler

Abstract

We investigate the effect of employee heterogeneity on the incentive to exert effort in a market-based tournament. External employers use promotion decisions to estimate employees' abilities and adjust their wage offers accordingly. Employees exert effort to increase the probability of being promoted and thus to increase their ability assessment and wage offer. We demonstrate that ability assessments and wage offers are more sensitive to promotion decisions in the case of heterogeneous employees. Thus, employees have a higher incentive to affect the tournament outcome, and employers find it optimal to hire heterogeneous employees.

Suggested Citation

  • Marc Gürtler & Oliver Gürtler, 2015. "The Optimality of Heterogeneous Tournaments," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(4), pages 1007-1042.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:doi:10.1086/681207
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • M51 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Firm Employment Decisions; Promotions

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