Informational Effects in a Competitive Environment: Large-Scale Evidence from Table Tennis

38 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2021

See all articles by Janina Kleinknecht

Janina Kleinknecht

affiliation not provided to SSRN; Ulm University - Department of Mathematics and Economics

Alexander Rieber

Ulm University

Daniel Würtenberger

Ulm University - Department of Mathematics and Economics

Date Written: July 22, 2021

Abstract

Competitions often serve to identify the most capable individual or increase overall effort in corporations and sports. Whether to provide individuals with (ranking) information in such a context is an intriguing question. We investigate individuals' competitive behavior under different degrees of ex-ante information regarding their competitors’ ability. A natural experiment in table tennis, particularly, the introduction of table tennis rankings in 2010, allows us to study the effect of (standardized) information on individual behavior, based on more than 1.5 million matches for over 34,000 individuals. Our results suggest that favorites benefit most from additional information as their winning probability increases, whereas underdogs are discouraged by such (standardized) information. These findings are stronger for more heterogeneous matches and hold even if players possess private information. Consistently, competition intensity declines after the release of information regarding competitors' ability. Our results imply that corporations should strategically provide information based on their specific aim.

Keywords: Information, Ranking, Elo-Rating, Competition

JEL Classification: D81, D82, D83

Suggested Citation

Kleinknecht, Janina and Kleinknecht, Janina and Rieber, Alexander and Würtenberger, Daniel, Informational Effects in a Competitive Environment: Large-Scale Evidence from Table Tennis (July 22, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3891544 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3891544

Janina Kleinknecht

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Ulm University - Department of Mathematics and Economics ( email )

Helmholtzstrasse 18
Ulm, D-89081
Germany

Alexander Rieber

Ulm University ( email )

Helmholzstrasse
Ulm, D-89081
Germany
+49 731 50 23591 (Phone)

Daniel Würtenberger (Contact Author)

Ulm University - Department of Mathematics and Economics ( email )

Helmholzstrasse
Ulm, D-89081
Germany

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