Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2127310
 


 



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


Kevin Boudreau


Harvard Business School - Strategy Unit

Karim R. 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

January 13, 2015

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 data on 2,775 contestants in 755 software algorithm development contests with random assignment. The performance response to added contestants varies non-monotonically across contestants of different abilities, precisely conforming to theoretical predictions. Most participants respond negatively, 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

Keywords: Tournaments, contests, platforms, innovation

JEL Classification: D02, J4, L2, M5


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Date posted: August 9, 2012 ; Last revised: January 24, 2015

Suggested Citation

Boudreau, Kevin and Lakhani, Karim R. and Menietti, Michael E., Performance Responses To Competition Across Skill-Levels In Rank Order Tournaments: Field Evidence and Implications For Tournament Design (January 13, 2015). 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 Boudreau (Contact Author)
Harvard Business School - Strategy Unit ( email )
Harvard Business School
Soldiers Field Road
Boston, MA 02163
United States
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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