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Splash with a teammate: Peer effects in high-stakes tournaments

Lingqing Jiang

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2020, vol. 171, issue C, 165-188

Abstract: This paper investigates peer effects among high-skilled individuals in competitive environments with high-stakes incentives. I use data from the Swimming World Championships and study whether having a teammate in the competing group affects individual performance. The identification challenge lies in that the competing group’s composition is endogenous to individual performance. I apply a regression discontinuity design by comparing finalists’ performance when their teammate barely qualified or not qualified for the same finals. Female athletes accompanied by a teammate finished with less time and performed 0.8 to 1.18 ranks better in the finals. Male athletes’ performance is unaffected. The potential mechanisms of enhanced intra-team competition and mitigated psychosocial pressure are discussed and are in line with literature on gender differences.

Keywords: Peer effects; Tournaments; Regression discontinuity; Gender differences (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D91 J24 Z29 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2020.01.013

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Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:171:y:2020:i:c:p:165-188