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Time is money - Time pressure, incentives, and the quality of decision-making

  • Martin G. Kocher
  • Matthias Sutter


Many decisions in economics and finance have to be made under severe time pressure. Furthermore, payoffs frequently depend on the speed of decision-making, like, for instance, when buying and selling stocks. In this paper, we examine the influence of time pressure and time-dependent incentive schemes on the quality of decision-making in an experimental beauty-contest game. We find that convergence to equilibrium is faster and payoffs are higher under low time pressure than under high time pressure. Interestingly, time-dependent payoffs under high time pressure lead to significantly quicker decision-making without reducing the quality of decisions.

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Paper provided by Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group in its series Papers on Strategic Interaction with number 2004-05.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:esi:discus:2004-05
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  1. Daniel Nagin & James Rebitzer & Seth Sanders & Lowell Taylor, 2002. "Monitoring, Motivation and Management: The Determinants of Opportunistic Behavior in a Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 8811, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Duffy, John & Nagel, Rosemarie, 1997. "On the Robustness of Behaviour in Experimental "Beauty Contest" Games," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1684-1700, November.
  3. Sutter, Matthias & Kocher, Martin G., 2004. "Favoritism of agents - The case of referees' home bias," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 461-469, August.
  4. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
  5. Martin G. Kocher & Matthias Sutter, 2004. "The Decision Maker Matters: Individual versus Group Behaviour in Experimental Beauty-Contest Games," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2004-09, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  6. Weber, Roberto A., 2003. "'Learning' with no feedback in a competitive guessing game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 134-144, July.
  7. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  8. Edward P. Lazear, 2000. "Performance Pay and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1346-1361, December.
  9. Albert Satorra & Antoni Bosch-Domenech & Jose Garcia-Montalvo & Rosemarie Nagel, 2002. "One, two, (three), infinity: Newspaper and lab beauty-contest experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00011, The Field Experiments Website.
  10. Colin F. Camerer, 1997. "Progress in Behavioral Game Theory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 167-188, Fall.
  11. Sutter, Matthias & Kocher, Martin & Strau[ss], Sabine, 2003. "Bargaining under time pressure in an experimental ultimatum game," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 341-347, December.
  12. Nagel, Rosemarie, 1995. "Unraveling in Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1313-26, December.
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