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The Distribution of Talent across Contests Feedback in Higher Education

Author

Listed:
  • Ghazala Azmat

    (Queen Mary University of London and Centre for Economic Performance, LSE)

  • Marc Möller

    (University of Bern)

Abstract

Do the contests with the largest prizes attract the most-able contestants? To what extent do contestants avoid competition? In this paper, we show, theoretically and empirically, that the distribution of abilities plays a crucial role in determining contest choice. Complete sorting exists only when the proportion of high-ability contestants is sufficiently small. As this proportion increases, high-ability contestants shy away from competition and sorting decreases, such that, reverse sorting becomes a possibility. We test our theoretical predictions with a large panel data set containing contest choice over twenty years. We use exogenous variation in the participation of highly-able competitors to provide empirical evidence for the relationship among prizes, competition, and sorting.

Suggested Citation

  • Ghazala Azmat & Marc Möller, 2016. "The Distribution of Talent across Contests Feedback in Higher Education," Working Papers 789, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  • Handle: RePEc:qmw:qmwecw:wp789
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Amegashie, J. Atsu, 2019. "Quantity-cum-quality contests," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 289-297.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Contests; Competition; Sorting; Incentives;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact

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