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The Effect of Losing and Winning on Cheating and Effort in Repeated Competitions

Sarah Necker and Fabian Paetzel

No 9744, CESifo Working Paper Series from CESifo

Abstract: Competitive rewards are often assigned on a regular basis, e.g., in annual salary negotiations or employee-of-the-month schemes. The repetition of competitions can imply that opponents are matched based on earlier outcomes. Using a real-effort experiment, we examine how cheating and effort evolve in two rounds of competitions in which subjects compete with different types of opponents in the second round (random/based on first-round outcome). We find that (i) losing causes competitors to increase cheating in the second round while winning implies a tendency to reduce cheating. A similar effect is found with regard to effort, which losers increase to a larger extent than winners. (ii) Competitor matching does not significantly affect behavior.

Keywords: cheating; effort; competition; competitor; social recognition; laboratory experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 C92 J28 J33 M52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp, nep-lma and nep-spo
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