IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The optimal allocation of prizes in tournaments of heterogeneous agents

  • Loukas Balafoutas

    ()

  • Glenn Dutcher

    ()

  • Florian Lindner

    ()

  • Dmitry Ryvkin

    ()

Tournaments are widely used in organizations, explicitly or implicitly, to reward the best-performing employees, e.g., through promotion or bonuses, and/or to punish the worst-performing employees, e.g., through firing or unfavorable job assignments. We explore the impact of the allocation of prizes on the effectiveness of tournament incentive schemes. We show that while multiple prize allocation rules are equivalent when agents are symmetric in their ability, the equivalence is broken in the presence of heterogeneity. Under a wide range of conditions, punishment tournaments, i.e., tournaments that award a low prize to relatively few bottom performers, are optimal for the firm. The reason is that low-ability agents are discouraged less in punishment tournaments, and hence can be compensated less to meet their participation constraints.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://eeecon.uibk.ac.at/wopec2/repec/inn/wpaper/2012-08.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck in its series Working Papers with number 2012-08.

as
in new window

Length: 34
Date of creation: Apr 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:inn:wpaper:2012-08
Contact details of provider: Postal: Universitätsstraße 15, A - 6020 Innsbruck
Phone: 0512/507-7151
Fax: 0512/507-2788
Web page: http://www.uibk.ac.at/fakultaeten/volkswirtschaft_und_statistik/index.html.en
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Pablo Casas-Arce & F. Asís Martínez-Jerez, 2009. "Relative Performance Compensation, Contests, and Dynamic Incentives," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(8), pages 1306-1320, August.
  2. Bull, Clive & Schotter, Andrew & Weigelt, Keith, 1985. "Tournaments and Piece Rates: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 85-21, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  3. Timothy N. Cason & William A. Masters & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2010. "Entry into Winner-Take-All and Proportional-Prize Contests: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 10-10, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  4. Schotter, Andrew & Weigelt, Keith, 1990. "Asymmetric Tournaments, Equal Opportunity Laws And Affirmative Action: Some Experimental Result," Working Papers 90-14, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  5. Tor Eriksson & Sabrina Teyssier & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2009. "Self-Selection And The Efficiency Of Tournaments," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 47(3), pages 530-548, 07.
  6. Fibich, Gadi & Gavious, Arieh & Sela, Aner, 2004. "Revenue equivalence in asymmetric auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 115(2), pages 309-321, April.
  7. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-64, October.
  8. Sherwin Rosen, 1985. "Prizes and Incentives in Elimination Tournaments," NBER Working Papers 1668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Sheremeta, Roman, 2009. "Experimental Comparison of Multi-Stage and One-Stage Contests," MPRA Paper 49884, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Gürtler, Oliver & Kräkel, Matthias, 2008. "Optimal Tournament Contracts for Heterogeneous Workers," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 234, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  11. Harbring, Christine & Irlenbusch, Bernd, 2008. "How many winners are good to have?: On tournaments with sabotage," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 682-702, March.
  12. Matthias Sutter & Stefan Haigner & Martin G. Kocher, 2010. "Choosing the Carrot or the Stick? Endogenous Institutional Choice in Social Dilemma Situations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1540-1566.
  13. Judith Chevalier & Glenn Ellison, 1999. "Career Concerns Of Mutual Fund Managers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 389-432, May.
  14. Martin Sefton & Robert Shupp & James M. Walker, 2007. "The Effect Of Rewards And Sanctions In Provision Of Public Goods," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 45(4), pages 671-690, October.
  15. Wieland Müller & Andrew Schotter, 2010. "Workaholics and Dropouts in Organizations," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(4), pages 717-743, 06.
  16. Harbring, Christine & Irlenbusch, Bernd, 2003. "An experimental study on tournament design," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 443-464, August.
  17. O'Flaherty, Siow A., 1990. "Up Or Out Rules In The Market For Lawyers," Discussion Papers 1990_29, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  18. Main, Brian G M & O'Reilly, Charles A, III & Wade, James, 1993. "Top Executive Pay: Tournament or Teamwork?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(4), pages 606-28, October.
  19. Carpenter, Jeffrey P. & Matthews, Peter Hans & Schirm, John, 2007. "Tournaments and Office Politics: Evidence from a Real Effort Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 2972, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  20. O'Keeffe, Mary & Viscusi, W Kip & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1984. "Economic Contests: Comparative Reward Schemes," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(1), pages 27-56, January.
  21. Bognanno, Michael L, 2001. "Corporate Tournaments," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 290-315, April.
  22. David Dickinson, 2001. "The Carrot vs. the Stick in Work Team Motivation," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 107-124, June.
  23. Gradstein, Mark & Konrad, Kai A, 1999. "Orchestrating Rent Seeking Contests," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(458), pages 536-45, October.
  24. Alannah Orrison & Andrew Schotter & Keith Weigelt, 2004. "Multiperson Tournaments: An Experimental Examination," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(2), pages 268-279, February.
  25. Edward P. Lazear & Paul Oyer, 2007. "Personnel Economics," NBER Working Papers 13480, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Michael L. Bognanno, 1988. "Do Tournaments Have Incentive Effects?," NBER Working Papers 2638, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Robert Akerlof & Richard Holden, 2012. "The nature of tournaments," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 51(2), pages 289-313, October.
  28. Gadi Fibich & Arieh Gavious & Aner Sela, 2006. "All-pay auctions with risk-averse players," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 34(4), pages 583-599, November.
  29. James Andreoni & William Harbaugh & Lise Vesterlund, 2003. "The Carrot or the Stick: Rewards, Punishments, and Cooperation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 893-902, June.
  30. Dmitry Ryvkin, 2007. "Tullock contests of weakly heterogeneous players," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 132(1), pages 49-64, July.
  31. Dan Lovallo & Colin Camerer, 1999. "Overconfidence and Excess Entry: An Experimental Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 306-318, March.
  32. Dmitry Ryvkin & Andreas Ortmann, 2008. "The Predictive Power of Three Prominent Tournament Formats," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(3), pages 492-504, March.
  33. Dmitry Ryvkin, 2009. "Tournaments of Weakly Heterogeneous Players," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 11(5), pages 819-855, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inn:wpaper:2012-08. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Janette Walde)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.