IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/2638.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Do Tournaments Have Incentive Effects?

Author

Listed:
  • Ronald G. Ehrenberg
  • Michael L. Bognanno

Abstract

Much attention has been devoted to studying models of tournaments or situations in which an individual's payment depends only on his output or rank, relative to other competitors. Such models are of more than academic Interest as they may well describe the compensation structures applicable to many corporate executives and professors, to sales people whose bonuses depend on their relative outputs. and to the more obvious example of professional sports tournaments. Academic interest derives from the fact that under certain sets of assumptions tournaments have desirable normative properties because of the incentive structures they provide. Our paper uses nonexperimental data to test if tournaments actually elicit desired effort responses. We focus on golf tournaments because information on the incentive structure (prize distribution) and measures of individual output (players' scores) are both available. Under suitable assumptions, players' scores can be related to players' effort and implications for both players' overall tournament scores and their scores on the last round of a tournament drawn. In addition, data are available to control for factors other than the incentive structure that should affect output; these factors include player quality, quality of the rest of the field, difficulty of the course, and weather conditions. The data used in our analyses cane from the "1985 Golf Digest Almanac", the "Official 1985 PGA Tour Media Guide", and the "1984 PGA Tour Player Record". We find strong support for the proposition that the level and structure of prizes in PGA tournaments influence players' performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Michael L. Bognanno, 1988. "Do Tournaments Have Incentive Effects?," NBER Working Papers 2638, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2638
    Note: LS
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w2638.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lawrence F. Katz, 1986. "Efficiency Wage Theories: A Partial Evaluation," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1986, Volume 1, pages 235-290, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. J.P.G. Reijnders, 2007. "Impulse or propagation? How the tides turned in Business Cycle Theory," Working Papers 07-07, Utrecht School of Economics.
    2. Holzer, Harry J., 2008. "Living Wage Laws: How Much Do (Can) They Matter?," IZA Discussion Papers 3781, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Adsera, Alicia & Boix, Carles, 2000. "Must we choose? European unemployment, American inequality, and the impact of education and labor market institutions," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 611-638, November.
    4. Anne Perrot & André Zylberberg, 1989. "Salaire d'efficience et dualisme du marché du travail," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 40(1), pages 5-20.
    5. Venkatasubramanian, Venkat & Luo, Yu & Sethuraman, Jay, 2015. "How much inequality in income is fair? A microeconomic game theoretic perspective," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 435(C), pages 120-138.
    6. Omar Al‐Ubaydli & Steffen Andersen & Uri Gneezy & John A. List, 2015. "Carrots That Look Like Sticks: Toward an Understanding of Multitasking Incentive Schemes," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 81(3), pages 538-561, January.
    7. Olivier Blanchard, 2000. "What Do We Know about Macroeconomics that Fisher and Wicksell Did Not?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1375-1409.
    8. David Card & Ana Rute Cardoso & Joerg Heining & Patrick Kline, 2018. "Firms and Labor Market Inequality: Evidence and Some Theory," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(S1), pages 13-70.
    9. Robert Gibbons & Lawrence Katz, 1992. "Does Unmeasured Ability Explain Inter-Industry Wage Differentials?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(3), pages 515-535.
    10. Julio J. Rotemberg, 2007. "Minimally altruistic wages and unemployment in a matching model," Working Papers 07-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    11. Ge, Suqin & Macieira, João, 2020. "Unobserved Worker Quality and Inter-Industry Wage Differentials," GLO Discussion Paper Series 491, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    12. Todorova, Tamara & Dzharova, Veselina, 2010. "Optimal Time and Opportunity Cost of Job Search in Low-income Groups: an Out-of-the-job Search Model," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 195-205.
    13. Simon Jäger & Benjamin Schoefer & Samuel Young & Josef Zweimüller, 2018. "Wages and the Value of Nonemployment," CESifo Working Paper Series 7342, CESifo.
    14. Axelson, Ulf & Bond, Philip, 2015. "Wall Street occupations," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 37448, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    15. Olivier Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1997. "What We Know and Do Not Know about the Natural Rate of Unemployment," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 51-72, Winter.
    16. Ronelle Burger & Marisa Coetzee & Carina van der Watt, 2013. "Estimating the benefits of linking ties in a deeply divided society: considering the relationship between domestic workers and their employers in South Africa," Working Papers 18/2013, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    17. Alan B. Krueger, 1988. "Are Public Sector Workers Paid More Than Their Alternative Wage? Evidence from Longitudinal Data and Job Queues," NBER Chapters, in: When Public Sector Workers Unionize, pages 217-242, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Christine Mayrhuber, 2000. "Umstellung des Abfertigungsrechtes: Impuls oder Hemmnis auf dem österreichischen Arbeitsmarkt?," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 73(12), pages 737-746, December.
    19. Robert J. Barro, 1989. "New Classicals and Keynesians, or the Good Guys and the Bad Guys," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 125(III), pages 263-273, September.
    20. Uri Gneezy & John A List, 2006. "Putting Behavioral Economics to Work: Testing for Gift Exchange in Labor Markets Using Field Experiments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(5), pages 1365-1384, September.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2638. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.