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Tournament Rewards and Risk Taking

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  • Hans K. Hvide

    (Norwegian School of Economics and Business)

Abstract

I consider two seemingly unrelated puzzles; 1.Why is relative performance evaluation (RPE) used less in CEO compensation than agency theory suggests? 2.Why is sometimes, e.g., for fund managers, a mediocre performance more highly rewarded than excellence? I consider a simple tournament model, where agents can influence the spread of output in addition to its mean. I show that standard tournament rewards induce risky and lazy behavior from the agents. This finding sheds light on Puzzle 1. Second, I consider a scheme that ranks agents according to their relative closeness to a benchmar k. I show that there exists intermediate values of k such that the risky-lazy problem of the standard tournament can be mitigated. This result sheds light on Puzzle 2.

Suggested Citation

  • Hans K. Hvide, 2000. "Tournament Rewards and Risk Taking," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0163, Econometric Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:wc2000:0163
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rajesh K. Aggarwal & Andrew A. Samwick, 1999. "The Other Side of the Trade-off: The Impact of Risk on Executive Compensation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(1), pages 65-105, February.
    2. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1983. "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(1), pages 7-45, January.
    3. Chevalier, Judith & Ellison, Glenn, 1997. "Risk Taking by Mutual Funds as a Response to Incentives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1167-1200, December.
    4. Murphy, Kevin J., 1999. "Executive compensation," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 38, pages 2485-2563 Elsevier.
    5. Eriksson, Tor, 1999. "Executive Compensation and Tournament Theory: Empirical Tests on Danish Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(2), pages 262-280, April.
    6. 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.
    7. Heinkel, Robert & Stoughton, Neal M, 1994. "The Dynamics of Portfolio Management Contracts," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 7(2), pages 351-387.
    8. Richard L. Fullerton & R. Preston McAfee, 1999. "Auctioning Entry into Tournaments," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 573-605, June.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • C50 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - General

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