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Behavioral and Welfare Effects of Tournaments and Fixed Performance Contracts: Some Experimental Evidence

Steven Wu () and Brian Roe

American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 2005, vol. 87, issue 1, 130-146

Abstract: Using experimental economics, we compare the efficiency and welfare effects of tournaments and fixed performance contracts. Our subjects (agents) were generally better off under fixed performance contracts, but the advantage of the fixed performance contract disappears if the relative magnitude of the standard deviation of the common shock exceeds a critical value. Efficiency wise, agents tend to exert higher effort under fixed performance contracts, on average. Additionally, an increase in the common shock standard deviation appeared to be associated with lower effort under tournaments. Our results shed light on the potential impact of legislative proposals to ban tournament contracts. Copyright 2005, Oxford University Press.

Date: 2005
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American Journal of Agricultural Economics is currently edited by Madhu Khanna, Brian E. Roe, James Vercammen and JunJie Wu

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:87:y:2005:i:1:p:130-146