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When pressure sinks performance: evidence from diving competitions

Author

Listed:
  • Garbi, Elni
  • Genakos, Christos
  • Pagliero, Mario

Abstract

Tournaments are designed to enhance participants’ effort and productivity. However, ranking near the top may increase psychological pressure and reduce performance. We empirically study the impact of interim rank on performance using data from international diving tournaments. We find that competitors systematically underperform when ranked closer to the top, despite higher incentives to perform well.

Suggested Citation

  • Garbi, Elni & Genakos, Christos & Pagliero, Mario, 2015. "When pressure sinks performance: evidence from diving competitions," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 61700, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:61700
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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/61700/
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Christos Genakos & Mario Pagliero, 2012. "Interim Rank, Risk Taking, and Performance in Dynamic Tournaments," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(4), pages 782-813.
    2. Jose Apesteguia & Ignacio Palacios-Huerta, 2010. "Psychological Pressure in Competitive Environments: Evidence from a Randomized Natural Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2548-2564, December.
    3. Dohmen, Thomas J., 2008. "Do professionals choke under pressure?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 636-653, March.
    4. Dan Ariely & Uri Gneezy & George Loewenstein & Nina Mazar, 2009. "Large Stakes and Big Mistakes," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(2), pages 451-469.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. González-Díaz, Julio & Palacios-Huerta, Ignacio, 2016. "Cognitive performance in competitive environments: Evidence from a natural experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 139(C), pages 40-52.
    2. repec:eee:eecrev:v:100:y:2017:i:c:p:412-427 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Iqbal, Hamzah & Krumer, Alex, 2017. "Discouragement Effect and Intermediate Prizes in Multi-Stage Contests: Evidence from Tennis’s Davis Cup," Economics Working Paper Series 1719, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    4. Harb-Wu, Ken & Krumer, Alex, 2017. "Choking Under Pressure in Front of a Supportive Audience: Evidence from Professional Biathlon," Economics Working Paper Series 1717, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    5. Krumer, Alex & Lechner, Michael, 2016. "First In First Win: Evidence on Unfairness of Round-Robin Tournaments in Mega-Events," Economics Working Paper Series 1611, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    6. Cohen-Zada, Danny & Krumer, Alex & Shapir, Offer Moshe, 2017. "Take a Chance on ABBA," IZA Discussion Papers 10878, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. repec:eee:eecrev:v:118:y:2019:i:c:p:364-381 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:eee:jeborg:v:146:y:2018:i:c:p:106-115 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tournaments; incentives; choking under pressure;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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