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Do Tournaments Have Incentive Effects?

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  • Ehrenberg, Ronald G
  • Bognanno, Michael L

Abstract

Much attention has been devoted to studying models of tournaments or situations in which an individual's payment depends only on his or her output or rank relative to that of other competitors. Under certain sets of assumptions, tournaments have desirable normative properties because of the incentive structures they provide. Our paper uses nonexperimental data to test whether tournaments actually elicit effort responses. We focus on professional golf tournaments because information on the incentive structure (prize distribution) and measures of individual output (players' scores) are both available. We find string support for the proposition that the level and structure of prizes in PGA tournaments influence players performance. Copyright 1990 by University of Chicago Press.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:98:y:1990:i:6:p:1307-24
    DOI: 10.1086/261736
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lawrence F. Katz, 1986. "Efficiency Wage Theories: A Partial Evaluation," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1986, Volume 1, pages 235-290, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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