IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Commitment in R&D Tournaments via Strategic Delegation to Overoptimistic Managers


  • Englmaier, Florian


This paper shows that it is profitable for a firm to hire an overoptimistic manager to commit to a certain investment strategy in an R&D tournament situation. In the unique symmetric equilibrium, all firms delegate to overoptimistic managers, where the optimal degree of overoptimism depends on the riskiness of the tournament. In these situations a manager’s type may serve as a substitute for delegation via contracts. By delegating to overoptimistic managers, firms can escape the rat race nature of R&D tournaments.

Suggested Citation

  • Englmaier, Florian, 2010. "Commitment in R&D Tournaments via Strategic Delegation to Overoptimistic Managers," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 328, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:328

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nick Netzer & Florian Scheuer, 2010. "Competitive Markets without Commitment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(6), pages 1079-1109.
    2. O'Flaherty, Brendan & Siow, Aloysius, 1995. "Up-or-Out Rules in the Market for Lawyers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(4), pages 709-735, October.
    3. Hans K. Hvide & Eirik Gaard Kristiansen, 2012. "Management of Knowledge Workers," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55(4), pages 815-838.
    4. Rasul, Imran & Sonderegger, Silvia, 2010. "The role of the agent's outside options in principal-agent relationships," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 781-788, March.
    5. Kräkel, Matthias & Sliwka, Dirk, 2006. "Should You Allow Your Agent to Become Your Competitor? On Non-Compete Agreements in Employment Contracts," IZA Discussion Papers 2054, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Anton, James J & Yao, Dennis A, 1995. "Start-ups, Spin-offs, and Internal Projects," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 362-378, October.
    7. Isabelle Huault & V. Perret & S. Charreire-Petit, 2007. "Management," Post-Print halshs-00337676, HAL.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:jeborg:v:138:y:2017:i:c:p:10-29 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Otto, Clemens A., 2014. "CEO optimism and incentive compensation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(2), pages 366-404.
    3. Citci, Sadettin Haluk & Inci, Eren, 2016. "Career concerns and Bayesian overconfidence of managers," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 137-159.
    4. Kopel, Michael & Brand, Björn, 2012. "Socially responsible firms and endogenous choice of strategic incentives," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 982-989.
    5. Rtischev, Dimitry, 2012. "Strategic commitment to pursue a goal other than profit in a Cournot duopoly," MPRA Paper 40891, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Strategic Delegation; Overoptimism; Tournaments;

    JEL classification:

    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation


    Access and download statistics


    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:trf:wpaper:328. 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: (Tamilla Benkelberg). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.