Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2161903
 
 

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Rankings, Success, and Individual Performance: Evidence from a Natural Experiment


Stefan Legge


University of St. Gallen - SEPS: Economics and Political Sciences; University of St. Gallen - Swiss Institute for International Economics and Applied Economic Research

Lukas Schmid


University of St. Gallen - Department of Economics

December 17, 2013

U. of St. Gallen Law & Economics Working Paper No. 2013-13

Abstract:     
Rankings have become increasingly important over the past decades and impose a sharp distinction between success and failure. In this paper we examine the effects of ranking positions and great successes on individual performance by using a rich set of data on World Cup alpine ski races for the period of 1992--2013. We apply a regression discontinuity design and exploit close races as a source of quasi-randomized treatment assignment.

Our results suggest substantial short-run effects of podium finishes on performance, especially for racers in the middle of the skill distribution. However, the effects are short-lived and mostly driven by individuals who miss prestigious ranks by a tiny margin. This finding highlights a potential drawback of rankings which has been neglected in previous research. We identify media attention as the key channel for performance effects and provide novel empirical evidence for an increasing media bias in favor of top-ranked competitors in the last two decades.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 50

Keywords: Performance, Success, Rankings, Media Attention, Skiing

JEL Classification: D03, L83, M50

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Date posted: October 16, 2012 ; Last revised: January 15, 2014

Suggested Citation

Legge, Stefan and Schmid, Lukas, Rankings, Success, and Individual Performance: Evidence from a Natural Experiment (December 17, 2013). U. of St. Gallen Law & Economics Working Paper No. 2013-13. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2161903 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2161903

Contact Information

Stefan Legge
University of Saint Gallen - SEPS: Economics and Political Sciences ( email )
Rosenbergstrasse 51
St. Gallen, St. Gallen CH-9000
Switzerland
University of Saint Gallen - Swiss Institute for International Economics and Applied Economic Research
Bodanstrasse 8
St.Gallen, 9000
Switzerland
Lukas Schmid (Contact Author)
University of St. Gallen - Department of Economics ( email )
Bodanstr. 8
St. Gallen, 9000
Switzerland
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