Do Tournaments with Superstars Encourage or Discourage Competition?

48 Pages Posted: 22 May 2017

See all articles by Michael Babington

Michael Babington

Florida State University

Sebastian J. Goerg

Florida State University - Department of Economics; Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Carl Kitchens

Florida State University - Department of Economics

Abstract

To test and replicate the superstar effect reported by Brown (2011) we empirically study contests where a single entrant has an endogenously higher probability of winning. Unlike the previous literature, we test for the presence of the superstar effect in several different contexts. Ultimately, we collect and explore data from four sources: men's and women's professional golf, and men's and women's professional alpine skiing. Our baseline study of men's professional golf serves as a replication of Brown's (2011) study. Empirically, we find little robust evidence of the superstar effect in any of our datasets. In our replication exercise, we approximate the findings of Brown (2011), however, we cannot reject the null that the presence of a superstar has no impact on high ranked competitors. In our other settings, we cannot reject the null that superstars have no influence on the performances of highly ranked competitors.

Keywords: superstar, tournaments, incentives

JEL Classification: C2, J3, M52, D03

Suggested Citation

Babington, Michael and Goerg, Sebastian J. and Kitchens, Carl, Do Tournaments with Superstars Encourage or Discourage Competition?. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10755. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2971351

Michael Babington (Contact Author)

Florida State University

Tallahasse, FL 32306
United States

Sebastian J. Goerg

Florida State University - Department of Economics ( email )

Tallahassee, FL 30306-2180
United States
+1 (850) 644-7083 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.s-goerg.de

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.coll.mpg.de

Carl Kitchens

Florida State University - Department of Economics ( email )

Tallahassee, FL 30306-2180
United States

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