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Selection tournaments, sabotage, and participation
[Auswahlturniere, Sabotage und Teilnahme]

  • Münster, Johannes
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    This paper studies sabotage in tournaments with at least three contestants, where the contestants know each other well. Every contestant has an incentive to direct sabotage specifically against his most dangerous rival. In equilibrium, contestants who choose a higher productive effort are sabotaged more heavily. This might explain findings from psychology, where victims of mobbing are sometimes found to be overachieving. Further, sabotage equalizes promotion chances. The effect is most pronounced if the production function is linear in sabotage, and the cost function depends only on the sum of all sabotage activities: in an interior equilibrium, who will win is a matter of chance, even when contestants differ a great deal in their abilities. This, in turn, has adverse consequences for who might want to participate in a tournament. Since better contestants anticipate that they will be sabotaged more strongly, it may happen that the most able stay out and the tournament selects one of the less able with probability one. I also study the case where some contestants are easy victims, i. e. easier to sabotage than others.

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    File URL: http://econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/51114/1/526582219.pdf
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    Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance with number SP II 2006-08.

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    Date of creation: 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbmpg:spii200608
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    1. Luis Garicano & Ignacio Palacios-Huerta, 2001. "An Empirical Examination of Multidimensional Effort in Tournaments," Working Papers 2001-14, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    2. Krakel, Matthias, 2000. "Relative deprivation in rank-order tournaments," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 385-407, July.
    3. Green, Jerry R & Stokey, Nancy L, 1983. "A Comparison of Tournaments and Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(3), pages 349-64, June.
    4. Sherwin Rosen, 1985. "Prizes and Incentives in Elimination Tournaments," NBER Working Papers 1668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Drago, Robert & Turnbull, Geoffrey K., 1991. "Competition and cooperation in the workplace," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 347-364, May.
    6. Hvide, Hans K. & Kristiansen, Eirik G., 2003. "Risk taking in selection contests," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 172-179, January.
    7. Kong-Pin Chen, 2005. "External Recruitment as an Incentive Device," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(2), pages 259-278, April.
    8. Drago, Robert & Garvey, Gerald T, 1998. "Incentives for Helping on the Job: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 1-25, January.
    9. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
    10. Clark, D.J. & Riis, C., 1996. "Rank-Order Tournaments and Selection," Memorandum 27/1996, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    11. Emmanuelle Auriol & Guido Friebel & Lambros Pechlivanos, 2002. "Career Concerns in Teams," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(2), pages 289-307, Part.
    12. Kong-Pin Chen, 2003. "Sabotage in Promotion Tournaments," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 119-140, April.
    13. Schlicht, Ekkehart, 1988. "Promotions, Elections, and Other Contests: Comment on Sherwin Rosen," Munich Reprints in Economics 3170, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    14. Chan, William, 1996. "External Recruitment versus Internal Promotion," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(4), pages 555-70, October.
    15. Glazer, Amihai & Hassin, Refael, 1988. "Optimal Contests," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(1), pages 133-43, January.
    16. Harrington, Joseph Jr. & Hess, Gregory D., 1996. "A Spatial Theory of Positive and Negative Campaigning," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 209-229, December.
    17. Lazear, Edward P, 1989. "Pay Equality and Industrial Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 561-80, June.
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