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Tournaments with prize-setting agents

  • Eriksen, Kristoffer W.

    ()

    (Norwegian School of Hotel Management, Dept. of Business Administration, University of Stavanger)

  • Kvaløy, Ola

    ()

    (Norwegian School of Hotel Management, Dept. of Business Administration, University of Stavanger)

  • Olsen, Trond E.

    ()

    (Dept. of Finance and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

In many tournaments it is the contestants themselves who determine reward allocation. Labor-union members bargain over wage distribution, and many firms allow self-managed teams to freely determine internal resource allocation, incentive structure, and division of labour. We analyze, and test experimentally, a rank-order tournament where heterogenous agents determine the spread between winner prize and looser prize. We investigate the relationship between prize spread, uncertainty (i.e. noise between e¤ort and performance), heterogeneity and effort. The paper challenges well-known results from tournament theory. We find that a large prize spread is associated with low degree of uncertainty and high degree of heterogeneity, and that heterogeneity triggers effort. By and large, our real-effort experiment supports the theoretical predictions.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/11250/164122
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Paper provided by Department of Business and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 2008/23.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 17 Oct 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:nhhfms:2008_023
Contact details of provider: Postal: NHH, Department of Business and Management Science, Helleveien 30, N-5045 Bergen, Norway
Phone: +47 55 95 92 93
Fax: +47 55 95 96 50
Web page: http://www.nhh.no/en/research-faculty/department-of-business-and-management-science.aspx
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  1. Frans van Dijk & Joep Sonnemans & Frans van Winden, 2000. "Incentive Systems in a Real Effort Experiment," CESifo Working Paper Series 272, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Matthias Kräkel & Dirk Sliwka, 2004. "Risk Taking in Asymmetric Tournaments," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 5(1), pages 103-116, 02.
  3. Dohmen, Thomas & Falk, Armin, 2011. "Performance Pay and Multidimensional Sorting - Productivity, Preferences and Gender," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 360, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  4. James Konow, 2003. "Which Is the Fairest One of All? A Positive Analysis of Justice Theories," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1188-1239, December.
  5. Riis, Christian, 2008. "Efficient Contests," MPRA Paper 10906, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Jonathan Levin, 2002. "Multilateral Contracting And The Employment Relationship," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 1075-1103, August.
  7. Carmichael, H Lorne, 1983. "The Agent-Agents Problem: Payment by Relative Output," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 50-65, January.
  8. Christian Riis, 2010. "Efficient Contests," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 643-665, 09.
  9. Bull, Clive & Schotter, Andrew & Weigelt, Keith, 1987. "Tournaments and Piece Rates: An Experimental Study," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(1), pages 1-33, February.
  10. Barry J. Nalebuff & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1983. "Prices and Incentives: Towards a General Theory of Compensation and Competition," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(1), pages 21-43, Spring.
  11. Harbring, Christine & Irlenbusch, Bernd, 2004. "Incentives in Tournaments with Endogenous Prize Selection," IZA Discussion Papers 1340, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Alexander W. Cappelen & Astri D. Hole & Erik Ø. Sørensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2005. "The Pluralism of Fairness Ideals: An Experimental Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 1611, CESifo Group Munich.
  13. Botond Koszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2007. "Reference-Dependent Risk Attitudes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1047-1073, September.
  14. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
  15. Christine Harbring & Bernd Irlenbusch, 2005. "Incentives in Tournaments with Endogenous Prize Selection," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 161(4), pages 636-, December.
  16. Uri Gneezy & Muriel Niederle & Aldo Rustichini, 2003. "Performance In Competitive Environments: Gender Differences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1049-1074, August.
  17. Brunello, Giorgio, 1994. " Incentives, Bargaining and the Wage Structure," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 96(4), pages 481-97.
  18. Sutter, Matthias, 2006. "Endogenous versus exogenous allocation of prizes in teams--Theory and experimental evidence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(5), pages 519-549, October.
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