Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2127310
 
 

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Performance Responses To Competition Across Skill-Levels In Rank Order Tournaments: Field Evidence and Implications For Tournament Design


Kevin J. Boudreau


London Business School

Karim Lakhani


Harvard Business School - Technology and Operations Management Group; Harvard University - Berkman Center for Internet & Society; Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Science

Michael E. Menietti


Harvard-NASA Tournament Laboratory

August 26, 2014

Harvard Business School Technology & Operations Mgt. Unit Working Paper No. 14-014

Abstract:     
Tournaments are widely used in the economy to organize production and innovation. We study individual contestant-level data on 2,775 contestants in 755 software algorithm design contests with random assignment. The performance response to added contestants varies non-monotonically across contestants of different abilities, precisely conforming to theory predictions. Most participants respond negatively to competition, while the highest-skilled contestants respond positively. In counterfactual simulations, we interpret a number of tournament design policies (number of competitors, prize allocation and structure, number of divisions, open entry) and assess their effectiveness in shaping optimal tournament outcomes for a designer.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 51

JEL Classification: D02, J4, L2, M5

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Date posted: August 9, 2012 ; Last revised: August 26, 2014

Suggested Citation

Boudreau, Kevin J. and Lakhani, Karim and Menietti, Michael E., Performance Responses To Competition Across Skill-Levels In Rank Order Tournaments: Field Evidence and Implications For Tournament Design (August 26, 2014). Harvard Business School Technology & Operations Mgt. Unit Working Paper No. 14-014. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2127310 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2127310

Contact Information

Kevin J. Boudreau (Contact Author)
London Business School ( email )
Sussex Place
Regent's Park
London, London NW1 4SA
United Kingdom
Karim R. Lakhani
Harvard Business School - Technology and Operations Management Group ( email )
Boston, MA 02163
United States
617-495-6741 (Phone)
Harvard University - Berkman Center for Internet & Society ( email )
Harvard Law School
23 Everett, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Science ( email )
1737 Cambridge St.
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Michael E. Menietti
Harvard-NASA Tournament Laboratory ( email )
1737 Cambridge St.
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-2607 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://scholar.harvard.edu/mmenietti/
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