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Envy and Compassion in Tournaments

Author

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  • Grund, Christian

    () (RWTH Aachen University)

  • Sliwka, Dirk

    () (University of Cologne)

Abstract

Many experiments indicate that most individuals are not purely motivated by material self interest, but also care about the well being of others. In this paper we examine tournaments among inequity averse agents, who dislike disadvantageous inequity (envy) and advantageous inequity (compassion). It turns out that inequity averse agents exert higher effort levels than purely self-interested agents for a given prize structure. Contrary to standard tournament theory first-best efforts can not be implemented when prizes are endogenous. Several extensions are studied like the case of spiteful agents, sabotage, asymmetric agents and an application on the choice between vertical and lateral promotions within firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Grund, Christian & Sliwka, Dirk, 2002. "Envy and Compassion in Tournaments," IZA Discussion Papers 647, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp647
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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 841-864, October.
    2. Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 817-869.
    3. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
    4. Florian Englmaier & Achim Wambach, 2002. "Contracts and Inequity Aversion," CESifo Working Paper Series 809, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Chan, William, 1996. "External Recruitment versus Internal Promotion," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(4), pages 555-570, October.
    6. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
    7. 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.
    8. Lazear, Edward P, 1989. "Pay Equality and Industrial Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 561-580, June.
    9. Mui, Vai-Lam, 1995. "The economics of envy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 311-336, May.
    10. Bhattacharya, Sudipto & Guasch, J Luis, 1988. "Heterogeneity, Tournaments, and Hierarchies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 867-881, August.
    11. Prendergast, Canice & Topel, Robert, 1993. "Discretion and bias in performance evaluation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 355-365, April.
    12. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2001. "Theories of Fairness and Reciprocity," Discussion Papers in Economics 14, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    tournaments; inequity aversion; promotions;

    JEL classification:

    • M51 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Firm Employment Decisions; Promotions
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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