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Is There No 'I' in Team? Rational Players in Dynamic Team Competition

26 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2016  

Lingbo Huang

Monash University - Department of Economics

Date Written: July 8, 2016


Empirical literature consistently challenges the rationality assumption of individuals’ behaviour in dynamic situations and in teamwork environments. Here I examine rational forward-looking behaviour in a dynamic team competition with multi-period “battles”. Using field data from professional squash team tournaments (820 matches), I provide evidence consistent with the game-theoretical prediction of “strategic neutrality” in team matches: the outcomes of previous battles do not affect the outcome of the current battle. Further, by exploiting a unique feature that each battle is in itself a multi-period contest between two contestants, I exclude another psychological mechanism that might explain the neutrality result, thus establishing the empirical relevance of its game-theoretical foundation.

Keywords: Forward-Looking Behaviour, Strategic Neutrality, Dynamic Team Competition, Multi-Period Contest, Squash Tournament

JEL Classification: C31, C36, C72, D79, L83

Suggested Citation

Huang, Lingbo, Is There No 'I' in Team? Rational Players in Dynamic Team Competition (July 8, 2016). Available at SSRN:

Lingbo Huang (Contact Author)

Monash University - Department of Economics ( email )

Wellington Road
Clayton, Victoria 3

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