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Optimal Tournament Contracts for Heterogeneous Workers

  • Gürtler, Oliver
  • Kräkel, Matthias

We analyze the optimal design of rank-order tournaments with heterogeneous workers. Iftournament prizes do not differ between the workers(uniform prizes), as in the previous tournament literature, the outcome will be ineffcient. In the case of limited liability, the employer may benefit from implementing more than first-best effort. We show that the employer can use individual prizes that satisfy a self-commitment condition and induce effcient incentives at the same time, thus solving a fundamental dilemma in tournament theory. Individual prizes exhibit two major advantages - they allow the extraction of worker rents and the adjustment of individual incentives, which will be important for the employer if he cannot rely on handicaps.

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Paper provided by Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich in its series Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems with number 234.

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Date of creation: May 2008
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Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:234
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  16. Eriksson, Tor, 1999. "Executive Compensation and Tournament Theory: Empirical Tests on Danish Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(2), pages 262-80, April.
  17. Hoffler, Felix & Sliwka, Dirk, 2003. "Do new brooms sweep clean? When and why dismissing a manager increases the subordinates' performance," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(5), pages 877-890, October.
  18. Baker, George & Gibbs, Michael & Holmstrom, Bengt, 1994. "The Internal Economics of the Firm: Evidence from Personnel Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 881-919, November.
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