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Discouragement Effect and Intermediate Prizes in Multi-Stage Contests: Evidence from Tennis’s Davis Cup

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  • Iqbal, Hamzah

    ()

  • Krumer, Alex

    ()

Abstract

Discouragement effect of the lagging player in multi-stage contests is a well-documented phenomenon. In this study, we utilize data from 2,247 Davis Cup matches in teams’ tennis tournaments to test the effect of ahead-behind asymmetry on individuals’ performance with and without intermediate prizes. Using several different strategies to disentangle the effect of being ahead in the interim score from the effect of selection, we find that a higher-ranked player has higher probability of winning if his team is leading before the respective match. However, this effect disappears in matches in which a winner receives ranking points. This result is driven by an increased winning probability of the lagging favorite. Our findings suggest that, as predicted by previous theoretical studies, intermediate prizes may mitigate or even terminate the ahead-behind effects that arise in multi-stage contests.

Suggested Citation

  • Iqbal, Hamzah & Krumer, Alex, 2017. "Discouragement Effect and Intermediate Prizes in Multi-Stage Contests: Evidence from Tennis’s Davis Cup," Economics Working Paper Series 1719, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:usg:econwp:2017:19
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    File URL: http://ux-tauri.unisg.ch/RePEc/usg/econwp/EWP-1719.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Collective decision-making; multi-stage contests; discouragement; tennis;

    JEL classification:

    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • D00 - Microeconomics - - General - - - General
    • L00 - Industrial Organization - - General - - - General
    • D20 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - General
    • Z20 - Other Special Topics - - Sports Economics - - - General

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