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Tournament Rewards and Risk Taking

  • Hvide, H.K.

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. Ishow 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 benchmark 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.

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Paper provided by Tel Aviv in its series Papers with number 32-99.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fth:teavfo:32-99
Contact details of provider: Postal: Israel TEL-AVIV UNIVERSITY, THE FOERDER INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMIC RESEARCH, RAMAT AVIV 69 978 TEL AVIV ISRAEL.
Phone: 972-3-640-9255
Fax: 972-3-640-5815
Web page: http://econ.tau.ac.il/foerder/about
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  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. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Heinkel, Robert & Stoughton, Neal M, 1994. "The Dynamics of Portfolio Management Contracts," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 7(2), pages 351-87.
  6. 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.
  7. 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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