IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Optimal Risk Taking in an Uneven Tournament Game with Risk Averse Players

  • Matthias Kräkel


We analyze the optimal choice of risk in a two-stage tournament game between two players that have different concave utility functions. At the first stage, both players simultaneously choose risk. At the second stage, both observe overall risk and simultaneously decide on effort or investment. The results show that those two effects which mainly determine risk taking - an effort effect and a likelihood effect - are strictly interrelated. This finding sharply contrasts with existing results on risk taking in tournament games with symmetric equilibrium efforts where such linkage can never arise. Hence, previous findings based on symmetry at the effort stage turn out to be nongeneric.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of Bonn, Germany in its series Bonn Econ Discussion Papers with number bgse4_2007.

in new window

Length: 31
Date of creation: Apr 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bon:bonedp:bgse4_2007
Contact details of provider: Postal: Bonn Graduate School of Economics, University of Bonn, Adenauerallee 24 - 26, 53113 Bonn, Germany
Fax: +49 228 73 6884
Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-64, October.
  2. Konrad, Kai A., 2007. "Strategy in contests: an introduction
    [Strategie in Turnieren – eine Einführung]
    ," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance SP II 2007-01, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  3. Hvide, Hans K. & Kristiansen, Eirik G., 2003. "Risk taking in selection contests," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 172-179, January.
  4. Anja Schöttner, 2005. "Fixed-Prize Tournaments versus First-Price Auctions in Innovation Contests," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2005-041, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  5. Robert Gibbons & Kevin Murphy, 1989. "Relative Performance Evaluation for Chief Executive Officers," Working Papers 628, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  6. Dragon, Robert & Garvey, Gerald T. & Turnbull, Geoffrey K., 1996. "A collective tournament," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 223-227, February.
  7. Warneryd, Karl, 2000. "In Defense of Lawyers: Moral Hazard as an Aid to Cooperation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 145-158, October.
  8. Steven Tadelis, 2002. "The Market for Reputations as an Incentive Mechanism," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 854-882, August.
  9. Kong-Pin Chen, 2003. "Sabotage in Promotion Tournaments," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 119-140, April.
  10. Judith A. Chevalier & Glenn D. Ellison, 1995. "Risk Taking by Mutual Funds as a Response to Incentives," NBER Working Papers 5234, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Anil Gaba & Ajay Kalra, 1999. "Risk Behavior in Response to Quotas and Contests," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 18(3), pages 417-434.
  12. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:28:y:2007:i:16:p:a0 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Taylor, Jonathan, 2003. "Risk-taking behavior in mutual fund tournaments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 373-383, March.
  14. Brown, Keith C & Harlow, W V & Starks, Laura T, 1996. " Of Tournaments and Temptations: An Analysis of Managerial Incentives in the Mutual Fund Industry," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(1), pages 85-110, March.
  15. Hvide, H.K., 1999. "Tournament Rewards and Risk Taking," Papers 32-99, Tel Aviv.
  16. Muller, Sigrid M. & Machina, Mark J., 1987. "Moment preferences and polynomial utility," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 349-353.
  17. J. Atsu Amegashie, 2007. "American Idol: Should it be a Singing Contest or a Popularity Contest?," Working Papers 0708, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
  18. Dixit, Avinash K, 1987. "Strategic Behavior in Contests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 891-98, December.
  19. Gibbons, Robert, 2005. "Four forma(lizable) theories of the firm?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 200-245, October.
  20. O'Keeffe, Mary & Viscusi, W Kip & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1984. "Economic Contests: Comparative Reward Schemes," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(1), pages 27-56, January.
  21. Stefan Szymanski, 2003. "The Economic Design of Sporting Contests," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1137-1187, December.
  22. Matthias Kräkel & Dirk Sliwka, 2004. "Risk Taking in Asymmetric Tournaments," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 5(1), pages 103-116, 02.
  23. Christian Grund & Oliver Gürtler, 2005. "An Empirical Study on Risk Taking in Tournaments," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse6_2005, University of Bonn, Germany.
  24. 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 155-79, April.
  25. Schmalensee, Richard, 1976. "A Model of Promotional Competition in Oligopoly," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(3), pages 493-507, October.
  26. Baker, George & Gibbs, Michael & Holmstrom, Bengt, 1994. "The Wage Policy of a Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 921-55, November.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bon:bonedp:bgse4_2007. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (BGSE Office)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.