IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Strive to be first and avoid being last: An experiment on relative performance incentives

  • Lindner, Florian
  • Dutcher, E. Glenn
  • Balafoutas, Loukas
  • Ryvkin, Dmitry
  • Sutter, Matthias

Managers often use tournament incentive schemes which motivate workers to compete for the top, compete to avoid the bottom, or both. In this paper we test the effectiveness and efficiency of these incentive schemes. To do so, we utilize optimal contracts in a principal-agent setting, using a Lazear-Rosen type model that predicts equal effort and efficiency levels for three tournament incentive schemes: reward tournaments, punishment tournaments, and tournaments combining reward and punishment. We test the model s predictions in a laboratory experiment and find that the combination of reward and punishment produces the highest effort from agents, especially in contests of a relatively larger size. Punishment is shown to be more effective and, in larger contests, more efficient than rewards, and it is also the mechanism with the lowest variance of effort. Finally, we show that behavior in all mechanisms is consistent with a model of basic directional and reinforcement learning.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/79885/1/VfS_2013_pid_348.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association in its series Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order with number 79885.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc13:79885
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.socialpolitik.org/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Charles Noussair & Steven Tucker, 2005. "Combining Monetary and Social Sanctions to Promote Cooperation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(3), pages 649-660, July.
  2. Eriksson, Tor & Teyssier, Sabrina & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2006. "Self-Selection and the Efficiency of Tournaments," IZA Discussion Papers 1983, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. O'Flaherty, B. & Siow, A., 1990. "Up or Out Rules in the Market for Lawers," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 90-10, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
  4. Timothy N. Cason & William A. Masters & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2010. "Entry into Winner-Take-All and Proportional-Prize Contests: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 10-10, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  5. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-64, October.
  6. Edward P. Lazear, 1995. "Personnel Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121883, June.
  7. Simon Gaechter & Eric J. Johnson & Andreas Herrmann, 2010. "Individual-level loss aversion in riskless and risky choices," Discussion Papers 2010-20, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  8. Bull, Clive & Schotter, Andrew & Weigelt, Keith, 1987. "Asymmetric Tournaments, Equal Opportunity Laws and Affirmative Action: Some Experimental Results," Working Papers 87-33, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  9. Pablo Casas-Arce & F. Asís Martínez-Jerez, 2009. "Relative Performance Compensation, Contests, and Dynamic Incentives," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(8), pages 1306-1320, August.
  10. Robert Akerlof & Richard Holden, 2012. "The nature of tournaments," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 51(2), pages 289-313, October.
  11. Benny Moldovanu & Aner Sela & Xianwen Shi, 2010. "Carrots and Sticks: Prizes and Punishments in Contests," Working Papers tecipa-399, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  12. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
  13. Alannah Orrison & Andrew Schotter & Keith Weigelt, 2004. "Multiperson Tournaments: An Experimental Examination," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(2), pages 268-279, February.
  14. Jeffrey Carpenter & Peter Hans Matthews & John Schirm, 2007. "TOURNAMENTS AND OFFICE POLITICS: Evidence from a real effort experiment," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0709, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  15. Sunde, Uwe, 2009. "Heterogeneity and performance in tournaments: A test for incentive effects using professional tennis data," Munich Reprints in Economics 19585, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  16. Dan Lovallo & Colin Camerer, 1999. "Overconfidence and Excess Entry: An Experimental Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 306-318, March.
  17. Roman M. Sheremeta, 2009. "Experimental Comparison of Multi-Stage and One-Stage Contests," Working Papers 09-04, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  18. Dechenaux, Emmanuel & Kovenock, Dan & Sheremeta, Roman, 2014. "A Survey of Experimental Research on Contests, All-Pay Auctions and Tournaments," MPRA Paper 59714, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  19. John List & Daan Van Soest & Jan Stoop & Haiwen Zhou, 2014. "On the Role of Group Size in Tournaments: Theory and Evidence from Lab and Field Experiments," NBER Working Papers 20008, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Barry J. Nalebuff & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1983. "Prices and Incentives: Towards a General Theory of Compensation and Competition," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(1), pages 21-43, Spring.
  21. Rosen, Sherwin, 1986. "Prizes and Incentives in Elimination Tournaments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 701-15, September.
  22. Gradstein, Mark & Konrad, Kai A, 1999. "Orchestrating Rent Seeking Contests," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(458), pages 536-45, October.
  23. Selten, Reinhard & Stoecker, Rolf, 1986. "End behavior in sequences of finite Prisoner's Dilemma supergames A learning theory approach," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 47-70, March.
  24. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  25. Dmitry Ryvkin & Andreas Ortmann, 2008. "The Predictive Power of Three Prominent Tournament Formats," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(3), pages 492-504, March.
  26. Haigner, Stefan & Kocher, Martin & Sutter, Matthias, 2006. "Choosing the Stick or the Carrot? Endogenous Institutional Choice in Social Dilemma Situations," CEPR Discussion Papers 5497, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  27. Harbring, Christine & Irlenbusch, Bernd, 2008. "How many winners are good to have?: On tournaments with sabotage," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 682-702, March.
  28. Loukas Balafoutas & Glenn Dutcher & Florian Lindner & Dmitry Ryvkin, 2012. "The optimal allocation of prizes in tournaments of heterogeneous agents," Working Papers 2012-08, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  29. Konrad, Kai A., 2009. "Strategy and Dynamics in Contests," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199549603, March.
  30. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-377951 is not listed on IDEAS
  31. Roth, Alvin E. & Erev, Ido, 1995. "Learning in extensive-form games: Experimental data and simple dynamic models in the intermediate term," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 164-212.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc13:79885. 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: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics)

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.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.