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Incentives vs. Selection in Promotion Tournaments: Can a Designer Kill Two Birds with One Stone?

Author

Listed:
  • Höchtl, Wolfgang

    () (University of Innsbruck)

  • Kerschbamer, Rudolf

    () (University of Innsbruck)

  • Stracke, Rudi

    () (University of Munich)

  • Sunde, Uwe

    () (University of Munich)

Abstract

This paper studies the performance of promotion tournaments with heterogeneous participants in two dimensions: incentive provision and selection. Our theoretical analysis reveals a trade-off for the tournament designer between the two goals: While total effort is maximized if less heterogeneous participants compete against each other early in the tournament, letting more heterogeneous participants compete early increases the accuracy in selection. Experimental evidence supports our theoretical findings, indicating that the optimal design of promotion tournaments crucially depends on the objectives of the tournament designer. These findings have important implications for the optimal design of promotion tournaments in organizations.

Suggested Citation

  • Höchtl, Wolfgang & Kerschbamer, Rudolf & Stracke, Rudi & Sunde, Uwe, 2011. "Incentives vs. Selection in Promotion Tournaments: Can a Designer Kill Two Birds with One Stone?," IZA Discussion Papers 5755, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5755
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    Cited by:

    1. Marc Gürtler & Oliver Gürtler, 2015. "The Optimality of Heterogeneous Tournaments," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(4), pages 1007-1042.
    2. repec:spr:etbull:v:2:y:2014:i:1:d:10.1007_s40505-014-0030-z is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Zeynep B. Irfanoglu & Shakun D. Mago & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2014. "The New Hampshire Effect: Behavior in Sequential and Simultaneous Election Contests," Working Papers 14-15, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    4. Dutcher, E. Glenn & Balafoutas, Loukas & Lindner, Florian & Ryvkin, Dmitry & Sutter, Matthias, 2015. "Strive to be first or avoid being last: An experiment on relative performance incentives," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 39-56.
    5. Tanja Hörtnagl & Rudolf Kerschbamer & Rudi Stracke & Uwe Sunde, 2013. "Heterogeneity in Rent-Seeking Contests with Multiple Stages: Theory and Experimental Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 4435, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Irfanoglu, Zeynep & Mago, Shakun & Sheremeta, Roman, 2015. "New Hampshire Effect: Behavior in Sequential and Simultaneous Election Contests," MPRA Paper 67520, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Emmanuel Dechenaux & Dan Kovenock & Roman Sheremeta, 2015. "A survey of experimental research on contests, all-pay auctions and tournaments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(4), pages 609-669, December.
    8. Cary Deck & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2015. "Tug-of-War in the Laboratory," Working Papers 15-14, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    9. Delfgaauw, Josse & Dur, Robert & Non, Arjan & Verbeke, Willem, 2014. "Dynamic incentive effects of relative performance pay: A field experiment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 1-13.
    10. Stracke, Rudi, 2012. "Orchestrating Contests with Heterogeneous Participants," Economics Working Paper Series 1218, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    11. Stracke, Rudi, 2013. "Contest design and heterogeneity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(1), pages 4-7.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    promotion tournaments; heterogeneity; incentive provision; selection;

    JEL classification:

    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods

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