IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/pra/mprapa/8627.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

on the efficiency of team-based meritocracies

Author

Listed:
  • Gunnthorsdottir, Anna
  • Vragov, Roumen
  • seifert, Stefan
  • McCabe, Kevin

Abstract

According to theory a pure meritocracy is efficient because individual members are competitively rewarded according to their individual contributions to society. However, purely individually based meritocracies seldom occur. We introduce a new model of social production called “team-based meritocracy” (TBM) in which individual members are rewarded based on their team membership. We demonstrate that as long as such team membership is both mobile and competitively based on contributions, individuals are able to tacitly coordinate a complex and counterintuitive asymmetric equilibrium that is close to Pareto-optimal, possibly indicating that such a group-based meritocracy could be a social structure to which humans respond with particular ease. Our findings are relevant to many contemporary societies in which rewards are at least in part determined via membership in organizations such as for example firms, and organizational membership is increasingly determined by contribution rather than privilege.

Suggested Citation

  • Gunnthorsdottir, Anna & Vragov, Roumen & seifert, Stefan & McCabe, Kevin, 2008. "on the efficiency of team-based meritocracies," MPRA Paper 8627, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:8627
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/8627/1/MPRA_paper_8627.pdf
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. John C. Harsanyi & Reinhard Selten, 1988. "A General Theory of Equilibrium Selection in Games," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262582384, January.
    2. Erev, Ido & Roth, Alvin E, 1998. "Predicting How People Play Games: Reinforcement Learning in Experimental Games with Unique, Mixed Strategy Equilibria," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 848-881, September.
    3. Tibor Neugebauer & Susana Cabrera & Enrique Fatas & Juan A. Lacomba, 2012. "Vertically Splitting a Firm: Promotion and Demotion in a Team Production Experiment," LSF Research Working Paper Series 12-3, Luxembourg School of Finance, University of Luxembourg.
    4. Giovanna Devetag & Andreas Ortmann, 2007. "When and why? A critical survey on coordination failure in the laboratory," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(3), pages 331-344, September.
    5. Harsanyi John C., 1995. "A New Theory of Equilibrium Selection for Games with Incomplete Information," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 318-332, August.
    6. R. Mark Isaac & James M. Walker, 1988. "Group Size Effects in Public Goods Provision: The Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(1), pages 179-199.
    7. Gary-Bobo, Robert J., 1990. "On the existence of equilibrium points in a class of asymmetric market entry games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 239-246, September.
    8. Simon Gächter & Christian Thöni, 2005. "Social Learning and Voluntary Cooperation Among Like-Minded People," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 303-314, 04/05.
    9. Rapoport, Amnon & Seale, Darryl A. & Winter, Eyal, 2002. "Coordination and Learning Behavior in Large Groups with Asymmetric Players," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 111-136, April.
    10. Brown, James N & Rosenthal, Robert W, 1990. "Testing the Minimax Hypothesis: A Re-examination of O'Neill's Game Experiment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1065-1081, September.
    11. Mark Isaac, R. & McCue, Kenneth F. & Plott, Charles R., 1985. "Public goods provision in an experimental environment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 51-74, February.
    12. Van Damme, Eric, 2002. "Strategic equilibrium," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications,in: R.J. Aumann & S. Hart (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 41, pages 1521-1596 Elsevier.
    13. Mark Walker & John Wooders, 2001. "Minimax Play at Wimbledon," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1521-1538, December.
    14. Burdett, Kenneth & Coles, Melvyn G, 1999. "Long-Term Partnership Formation: Marriage and Employment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(456), pages 307-334, June.
    15. Crawford, Vincent P & Haller, Hans, 1990. "Learning How to Cooperate: Optimal Play in Repeated Coordination Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(3), pages 571-595, May.
    16. Rapoport, Amnon & Eshed-Levy, Dalit, 1989. "Provision of step-level public goods: Effects of greed and fear of being gypped," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 325-344, December.
    17. Carl M. Campbell III & Kunal S. Kamlani, 1997. "The Reasons for Wage Rigidity: Evidence from a Survey of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(3), pages 759-789.
    18. Barton H. Hamilton & Jack A. Nickerson & Hideo Owan, 2003. "Team Incentives and Worker Heterogeneity: An Empirical Analysis of the Impact of Teams on Productivity and Participation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(3), pages 465-497, June.
    19. Enrique Fatas & Tibor Neugebauer & Javier Perote, 2006. "Within-Team Competition In The Minimum Effort Coordination Game," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(2), pages 247-266, June.
    20. Lazear, Edward P, 1989. "Pay Equality and Industrial Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 561-580, June.
    21. Kandel, Eugene & Lazear, Edward P, 1992. "Peer Pressure and Partnerships," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 801-817, August.
    22. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    23. Talbot Page & Louis Putterman & Bulent Unel, 2005. "Voluntary Association in Public Goods Experiments: Reciprocity, Mimicry and Efficiency," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(506), pages 1032-1053, October.
    24. T. K. Ahn & R. Mark Isaac & Timothy C. Salmon, 2008. "Endogenous Group Formation," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 10(2), pages 171-194, April.
    25. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "The Efficiency of Equity in Organizational Decision Processes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 154-159, May.
    26. Shogren, Jason F., 1997. "Self-interest and equity in a bargaining tournament with non-linear payoffs," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 383-394, March.
    27. Selten, Reinhard, 1994. "Descriptive Approaches to Cooperation," Discussion Paper Serie B 292, University of Bonn, Germany.
    28. Douglas L. Kruse, 1993. "Profit Sharing: Does It Make a Difference?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number ps, November.
    29. R. Isaac & David Schmidtz & James Walker, 1989. "The assurance problem in a laboratory market," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 62(3), pages 217-236, September.
    30. repec:cup:apsrev:v:80:y:1986:i:04:p:1171-1185_18 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    social stratification; meritocracies; mechanism design; non-cooperative games; experiment; team production;

    JEL classification:

    • D20 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - General
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:pra:mprapa:8627. 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: (Joachim Winter) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/vfmunde.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 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.

    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.