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Testing the Theory of Tournaments: An Empirical Analysis of Broiler Production

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  • Knoeber, Charles R
  • Thurman, Walter N

Abstract

Broiler chickens are raised by contract growers whose rewards depend explicitly upon relative performance. The authors use data on the performance of broiler producers facing both tournament and linear performance evaluation compensation structures to test three predictions from the theory of tournaments: that changes in the level of prizes that leave prize differentials unchanged will not affect performance; that, in mixed tournaments, more able players will choose less risky strategies; and that tournament organizers will attempt to handicap players of unequal ability or reduce mixing to avoid the disincentive effects of mixed tournaments. Their evidence is consistent with each prediction. Copyright 1994 by University of Chicago Press.

Suggested Citation

  • 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 155-179, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:12:y:1994:i:2:p:155-79
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    1. Bohle H.-G. & Dittrich Ch. & Lohnert B., 1990. "Anpassungspolitik und Ernährungssicherung," Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftsgeographie, De Gruyter, vol. 34(1), pages 6-17, October.
    2. Bengt Holmstrom, 1982. "Moral Hazard in Teams," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 324-340, Autumn.
    3. Rosen, Sherwin, 1986. "Prizes and Incentives in Elimination Tournaments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 701-715, September.
    4. Knoeber, Charles R, 1989. "A Real Game of Chicken: Contracts, Tournaments, and the Production of Broilers," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(2), pages 271-292, Fall.
    5. 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.
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