The Credibility of Performance Feedback in Tournaments
24 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2015
Date Written: Spring 2015
This paper studies the effect of performance feedback on tournament outcomes, when a possibly dishonest principal may manipulate the agents' expectations to stimulate their effort. Under plausible circumstances, an increase in the principal's propensity to tell the truth (i.e., integrity) induces a mean preserving spread in the distribution of effort and leads to a decrease in expected profits and welfare. More generally, I identify conditions under which a lower integrity can improve the effectiveness of financial incentives in inducing the agents' effort, thus leading to higher expected profits for the principal.
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