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Promotion Tournaments in Market Equilibrium

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  • Jan Zabojnik

    () (Queen's University)

Abstract

Standard models of promotion tournaments assume that firms can commit to arbitrary tournament prizes. In this paper, a firm's ability to adjust tournament prizes is constrained by the outside labor market, through the wages other firms are willing to offer to the promoted and unpromoted workers. The paper shows that sufficiently patient firms may be able to retain some control over the tournament prizes through a relational contract, but if the firms are competitive, full efficiency does not obtain in equilibrium even for discount factors arbitrarily close to one. Full efficiency, however, may be feasible in firms with supranormal profits (monopolistic firms). The paper also shows that a minimum wage regulation distorts the workers' investments in human capital by restricting the firms' abilities to design efficient promotion tournaments. A minimum wage thus leads to underinvestment in competitive firms, but could lead to excessive human capital accumulation in monopolistic firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Zabojnik, 2008. "Promotion Tournaments in Market Equilibrium," Working Papers 1193, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:1193
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Dato, Simon & Grunewald, Andreas & Kräkel, Matthias & Müller, Daniel, 2016. "Asymmetric employer information, promotions, and the wage policy of firms," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 273-300.
    2. Michael Waldman & Ori Zax, 2016. "An Exploration of the Promotion Signaling Distortion," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(1), pages 119-149.
    3. Marc Gürtler & Oliver Gürtler, 2015. "The Optimality of Heterogeneous Tournaments," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(4), pages 1007-1042.
    4. Xin Jin, 2014. "The Signaling Role of Not Being Promoted: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers 0314, University of South Florida, Department of Economics.
    5. Jin, Xin, 2014. "The Signaling Role of Note Being Promoted: Theory and Evidence," MPRA Paper 58484, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Promotion tournaments; Relational contracts;

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation

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