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The Effect of Losing and Winning on Cheating and Effort in Repeated Competitions

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  • Sarah Necker
  • Fabian Paetzel

Abstract

Competitive rewards are often assigned on a regular basis, e.g., in annual salary negotiations or employee-of-the-month schemes. The repetition of competitions can imply that opponents are matched based on earlier outcomes. Using a real-effort experiment, we examine how cheating and effort evolve in two rounds of competitions in which subjects compete with different types of opponents in the second round (random/based on first-round outcome). We find that (i) losing causes competitors to increase cheating in the second round while winning implies a tendency to reduce cheating. A similar effect is found with regard to effort, which losers increase to a larger extent than winners. (ii) Competitor matching does not significantly affect behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Sarah Necker & Fabian Paetzel, 2022. "The Effect of Losing and Winning on Cheating and Effort in Repeated Competitions," CESifo Working Paper Series 9744, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_9744
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    cheating; effort; competition; competitor; social recognition; laboratory experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods

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