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The optimality of heterogeneous tournaments

  • Gürtler, Marc
  • Gürtler, Oliver

We investigate the effect of employee heterogeneity on the incentive to put forth effort in a market-based tournament. Employers use the tournament's outcome to estimate employees' abilities and accordingly condition their wage offers. Employees put forth effort, because by doing so they increase the probability of outperforming the rival, thereby increasing their ability assessment and thus the wage offer. We demonstrate that the tournament outcome provides more information about employees' abilities in case they are heterogeneous. Thus, employees get a higher incentive to affect the tournament outcome, and employers find it optimal to hire heterogeneous contestants.

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Paper provided by Technische Universität Braunschweig, Institute of Finance in its series Working Papers with number IF42V1.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:tbsifw:if42v1
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  1. Bognanno, Michael L. & Melero Martín, Eduardo, 2012. "Promotion Signals, Age and Education," IZA Discussion Papers 6431, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Gürtler, Oliver & Münster, Johannes, 2010. "Sabotage in dynamic tournaments," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 179-190, March.
  3. Paul R. Milgrom, 1979. "Good Nevs and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications," Discussion Papers 407R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  4. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
  5. Hvide, H.K. & Kristiansen, E.G., 1999. "Risk Taking in Selection Contests," Papers 5-99, Tel Aviv.
  6. Derek Clark & Christian Riis, 2001. "Rank-order tournaments and selection," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 73(2), pages 167-191, June.
  7. Suman Ghosh & Michael Waldman, 2010. "Standard promotion practices versus up-or-out contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 41(2), pages 301-325.
  8. DeVaro, Jed & Waldman, Michael, 2006. "The signaling role of promotions: Further theory and empirical evidence," MPRA Paper 1550, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Barton H. Hamilton & Jack A. Nickerson & Hideo Owan, 2003. "Team Incentives and Worker Heterogeneity: An Empirical Analysis of the Impact of Teams on Productivity and Participation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(3), pages 465-497, June.
  10. Jed DeVaro, 2006. "Internal promotion competitions in firms," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(3), pages 521-542, 09.
  11. Grund, Christian & Sliwka, Dirk, 2010. "Evidence on performance pay and risk aversion," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 106(1), pages 8-11, January.
  12. Ján Zábojník, 2012. "Promotion tournaments in market equilibrium," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 51(1), pages 213-240, September.
  13. Johannes Münster, 2007. "Selection Tournaments, Sabotage, and Participation," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(4), pages 943-970, December.
  14. Edward P. Lazear & Sherwin Rosen, 1979. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," NBER Working Papers 0401, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Heikki Rantakari, 2012. "Employee Initiative and Managerial Control," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 171-211, August.
  16. Kong-Pin Chen, 2003. "Sabotage in Promotion Tournaments," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 119-140, April.
  17. Oliver Gürtler & Johannes Münster & Petra Nieken, 2013. "Information Policy in Tournaments with Sabotage," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 115(3), pages 932-966, 07.
  18. Gürtler, Oliver & Kräkel, Matthias, 2010. "Optimal tournament contracts for heterogeneous workers," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 180-191, August.
  19. Waldman, Michael, 2013. "Classic promotion tournaments versus market-based tournaments," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 198-210.
  20. DeVaro, Jed, 2011. "Using "opposing responses" and relative performance to distinguish empirically among alternative models of promotions," MPRA Paper 35175, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  21. Franck, Egon & Nüesch, Stephan, 2010. "The effect of talent disparity on team productivity in soccer," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 218-229, April.
  22. Jennifer Brown, 2011. "Quitters Never Win: The (Adverse) Incentive Effects of Competing with Superstars," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(5), pages 982 - 1013.
  23. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:3:p:521-542 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. Knoeber, Charles R & Thurman, Walter N, 1994. "Testing the Theory of Tournaments: An Empirical Analysis of Broiler Production," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(2), pages 155-79, April.
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