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Positive self-image in tournaments

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  • Santos-Pinto, Luís

Abstract

This paper analyzes the implications of worker overestimation of productivity for firms in which incentives take the form of tournaments. Each worker overestimates his productivity but is aware of the bias in his opponent’s self-assessment. The manager of the firm, on the other hand, correctly assesses workers’ productivities and self-beliefs when setting tournament prizes. The paper shows that, under a variety of circumstances, firms make higher profits when workers have positive self-image than if workers do not. By contrast, workers’ welfare declines due to their own misguided choices.

Suggested Citation

  • Santos-Pinto, Luís, 2003. "Positive self-image in tournaments," MPRA Paper 3140, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 27 Feb 2007.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:3140
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/3140/1/MPRA_paper_3140.pdf
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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.
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    5. de la Rosa, Leonidas Enrique, 2011. "Overconfidence and moral hazard," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 429-451.
    6. Hvide, Hans K., 2002. "Pragmatic beliefs and overconfidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 15-28, May.
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    8. Fang, Hanming & Moscarini, Giuseppe, 2005. "Morale hazard," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 749-777, May.
    9. Winston Koh, 1992. "A note on modelling tournaments," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 55(3), pages 297-308, October.
    10. Landier, Augustin & Thesmar, David, 2003. "Financial Contracting with Optimistic Entrepreneurs: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 3971, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1983. "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(1), pages 7-45, January.
    12. Thomas Oberlechner & Carol Osler, 2009. "Overconfidence in Currency Markets," Working Papers 02, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School.
    13. Santos-Pinto, Luís & Park, Young-Joon, 2004. "Forecasts of relative performance in tournaments: evidence from the field," MPRA Paper 3144, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 22 Mar 2007.
    14. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "Rationalizability, Learning, and Equilibrium in Games with Strategic Complementarities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1255-1277, November.
    15. Munetomo Ando, 2004. "Overconfidence in Economic Contests," Econometric Society 2004 Far Eastern Meetings 708, Econometric Society.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Sandra Ludwig & Julia Nafziger, 2011. "Beliefs about overconfidence," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 70(4), pages 475-500, April.
    2. Vanessa Mertins & Wolfgang Hoffeld, 2013. "Do Overconfident Workers Cooperate Less? The Relationship between Overconfidence and Cooperation in Team Production," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201313, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
    3. repec:spr:grdene:v:27:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s10726-018-9575-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Ludwig, Sandra & Wichardt, Philipp C. & Wickhorst, Hanke, 2011. "Overconfidence can improve an agent's relative and absolute performance in contests," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 110(3), pages 193-196, March.
    5. Dohmen, Thomas, 2014. "Behavioral labor economics: Advances and future directions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 71-85.
    6. Valeria Maggian & Antonio Nicolò, 2016. "The wrong man for the job: biased beliefs and job mismatching," Post-Print halshs-01324733, HAL.
    7. de la Rosa, Leonidas Enrique, 2011. "Overconfidence and moral hazard," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 429-451.
    8. Legge, Stefan & Schmid, Lukas, 2013. "Rankings, Random Successes, and Individual Performance," Economics Working Paper Series 1340, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Self-Image; Tournaments; Behavioral Economics;

    JEL classification:

    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines

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