IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Facing Your Opponents: Social Identification and Information Feedback in Contests

  • Mago, Shakun
  • Samak, Anya
  • Sheremeta, Roman

We experimentally investigate the effect of social identification and information feedback on individual behavior in contests. In all treatments we find significant over-expenditure of effort relative to the standard theoretical predictions. Identifying subjects through photo display decreases wasteful effort. Providing information feedback about others’ effort does not affect the aggregate effort, but it decreases the heterogeneity of effort and significantly affects the dynamics of individual behavior. We develop a behavioral model which incorporates a non-monetary utility of winning and relative payoff maximization. The model explains significant over-expenditure of effort. It also suggests that decrease in ‘social distance’ between group members through photo display promotes pro-social behavior and decreases over-expenditure of effort, while improved information feedback decreases the heterogeneity of effort.

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:
File Function: original version
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 47029.

in new window

Date of creation: 15 May 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:47029
Contact details of provider: Postal: Schackstr. 4, D-80539 Munich, Germany
Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-2219
Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-3900
Web page:

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. Thomas A. Rietz & Roman M. Sheremeta & Timothy W. Shields & Vernon L. Smith, 2011. "Transparency, Efficiency and the Distribution of Economic Welfare in Pass-Through Investment Trust Games," Working Papers 11-03, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  2. Curtis R. Price & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2009. "Endowment Effects in Contests," Working Papers 09-07, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  3. Roman M. Sheremeta, 2013. "Overbidding And Heterogeneous Behavior In Contest Experiments," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(3), pages 491-514, 07.
  4. Sheremeta, Roman M., 2010. "Experimental comparison of multi-stage and one-stage contests," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 731-747, March.
  5. Moldovanu, Benny & Sela, Aner & Shi, Xianwen, 2005. "Contests for Status," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 139, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  6. Emmanuel Dechenaux & Dan Kovenock & Roman Sheremeta, 2012. "A Survey of Experimental Research on Contests, All-Pay Auctions and Tournaments," Working Papers 12-22, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  7. Rege, Mari & Telle, Kjetil, 2004. "The impact of social approval and framing on cooperation in public good situations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1625-1644, July.
  8. 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.
  9. Roman M. Sheremeta & Jingjing Zhang, 2009. "Can Groups Solve the Problem of Overbidding in Contests?," Department of Economics Working Papers 2009-05, McMaster University.
  10. Burkhard Hehenkamp & Wolfgang Leininger & Alex Possajennikov, 2003. "Evolutionary Equilibrium in Tullock Contests: Spite and Overdissipation," Discussion Papers in Economics 03_01, University of Dortmund, Department of Economics.
  11. Sheremeta, Roman, 2009. "Contest Design: An Experimental Investigation," MPRA Paper 52101, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Fallucchi, Francesco & Renner, Elke & Sefton, Martin, 2013. "Information feedback and contest structure in rent-seeking games," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 223-240.
  13. Simon, Curtis J. & Sheremeta, Roman, 2015. "Endowment Origin, Demographic Effects and Individual Preferences in Contests," MPRA Paper 67519, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Emel Filiz-Ozbay & Erkut Y. Ozbay, 2007. "Auctions with Anticipated Regret: Theory and Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1407-1418, September.
  15. Subhasish M. Chowdhury & Roman M. Sheremeta & Theodore L. Turocy, 2012. "Overdissipation and Convergence in Rent-seeking Experiments: Cost structure and prize allocation rules," Working Papers 12-13, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  16. Ludwig, Sandra & Lünser, Gabriele K., 2012. "Observing your competitor – The role of effort information in two-stage tournaments," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 166-182.
  17. Isaac, R. Mark & Walker, James M., 1985. "Information and conspiracy in sealed bid auctions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 139-159, June.
  18. Shakun D. Mago & Roman Sheremeta & Andrew Yates, 2010. "Best-of-Three Contests: Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 10-24, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  19. Potters, J.J.M. & de Vries, C.G. & van Winden, F.A.A.M., 1998. "An experimental examination of rational rentseeking," Other publications TiSEM 496ad30e-8453-4c83-a5e1-5, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  20. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., . "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  21. Edward Millner & Michael Pratt, 1989. "An experimental investigation of efficient rent-seeking," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 62(2), pages 139-151, August.
  22. Vriend, Nicolaas J., 2000. "An illustration of the essential difference between individual and social learning, and its consequences for computational analyses," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 1-19, January.
  23. Konrad, Kai A., 2009. "Strategy and Dynamics in Contests," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199549603, July.
  24. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  25. Armen A. Alchian, 1950. "Uncertainty, Evolution, and Economic Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58, pages 211.
  26. Roman M. Sheremeta, 2009. "Expenditures and Information Disclosure in Two- Stage Political Contests," Working Papers 09-10, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  27. Thomas Riechmann, 2007. "An analysis of rent-seeking games with relative-payoff maximizers," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 133(1), pages 147-155, October.
  28. Richard Engelbrecht-Wiggans & Elena Katok, 2008. "Regret and Feedback Information in First-Price Sealed-Bid Auctions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(4), pages 808-819, April.
  29. Yan Chen & Sherry Xin Li, 2009. "Group Identity and Social Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 431-57, March.
  30. repec:oup:qjecon:v:114:y:1999:i:3:p:817-868 is not listed on IDEAS
  31. Anya C. Savikhin & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2013. "Simultaneous Decision-Making In Competitive And Cooperative Environments," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(2), pages 1311-1323, 04.
  32. Cason, Timothy & Sheremeta, Roman & Zhang, Jingjing, 2012. "Communication and Efficiency in Competitive Coordination Games," MPRA Paper 52107, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  33. Catherine Eckel & Rick Wilson, 2006. "Internet cautions: Experimental games with internet partners," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 53-66, April.
  34. Dufwenberg, Martin & Gneezy, Uri, 2002. "Information disclosure in auctions: an experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 431-444, August.
  35. Christine Harbring & Bernd Irlenbusch & Matthias Krakel & Reinhard Selten, 2007. "Sabotage in Corporate Contests - An Experimental Analysis," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(3), pages 367-392.
  36. Lugovskyy, Volodymyr & Puzzello, Daniela & Tucker, Steven, 2010. "An experimental investigation of overdissipation in the all pay auction," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 974-997, November.
  37. Davis, Douglas D & Reilly, Robert J, 1998. " Do Too Many Cooks Always Spoil the Stew? An Experimental Analysis of Rent-Seeking and the Role of a Strategic Buyer," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 95(1-2), pages 89-115, April.
  38. Camelia M. Kuhnen & Agnieszka Tymula, 2012. "Feedback, Self-Esteem, and Performance in Organizations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(1), pages 94-113, January.
  39. repec:oup:qjecon:v:115:y:2000:i:3:p:715-753 is not listed on IDEAS
  40. Mago, Shakun D. & Sheremeta, Roman M. & Yates, Andrew, 2013. "Best-of-three contest experiments: Strategic versus psychological momentum," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 287-296.
  41. Richard Engelbrecht-Wiggans & Elena Katok, 2007. "Regret in auctions: theory and evidence," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 81-101, October.
  42. Wolfgang Leininger, 2003. "On evolutionarily stable behavior in contests," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 177-186, November.
  43. Anya Savikhin & Roman Sheremeta, 2010. "Visibility of Contributions and Cost of Information: An Experiment on Public Goods," Working Papers 10-22, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  44. Catherine C. Eckel & Ragan Petrie, 2011. "Face Value," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1497-1513, June.
  45. Hoffman, Elizabeth & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon L, 1996. "Social Distance and Other-Regarding Behavior in Dictator Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 653-60, June.
  46. repec:oup:qjecon:v:116:y:2001:i:1:p:161-188 is not listed on IDEAS
  47. Charles J. Thomas & Bart J. Wilson, 2002. "A Comparison of Auctions and Multilateral Negotiations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(1), pages 140-155, Spring.
  48. Oliver Gürtler & Christine Harbring, 2010. "Feedback in Tournaments under Commitment Problems: Experimental Evidence," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 771-810, 09.
  49. Bruno S. Frey & Iris Bohnet, 1999. "Social Distance and Other-Regarding Behavior in Dictator Games: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 335-339, March.
  50. Ahmed, Ali M., 2007. "Group identity, social distance and intergroup bias," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 324-337, June.
  51. Scharlemann, Jorn P. W. & Eckel, Catherine C. & Kacelnik, Alex & Wilson, Rick K., 2001. "The value of a smile: Game theory with a human face," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 617-640, October.
  52. James Andreoni & Ragan Petrie, 2003. "Public Goods Experiments Without Confidentiality: A Glimpse Into Fund-Raising," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000520, David K. Levine.
  53. Burnham, Terence C., 2003. "Engineering altruism: a theoretical and experimental investigation of anonymity and gift giving," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 133-144, January.
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:pra:mprapa:47029. 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: (Ekkehart Schlicht)

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.