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Incentives in Tournaments with Endogenous Prize Selection

Christine Harbring and Bernd Irlenbusch ()

Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), 2005, vol. 161, issue 4, 636-663

Abstract: Tournament incentive schemes offer payments dependent on relative performance and are intended thereby to motivate agents to exert productive effort. Unfortunately, however, an agent may also be tempted to degrade the production of his competitors in order to improve the own relative position. We investigate whether this sabotage problem is mitigated in a repeated interaction between the agents and the principal. As sabotage can hardly be observed in real-world organizations, we employ a controlled experiment. Our data provide clear evidence that agents' behavior is not only guided by competition between agents but also by the possibility of punishing the principal via sabotage.

JEL-codes: D23 J33 J41 L23 C72 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2005
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