Behavioral and Welfare Effects of Tournaments and Fixed Performance Contracts: Some Experimental Evidence
Posted: 14 Dec 2005
Using experimental economics, we compare the efficiency and welfare effects of tournaments and fixed performance contracts. Our subjects (agents) were generally better off under fixed performance contracts, but the advantage of the fixed performance contract disappears if the relative magnitude of the standard deviation of the common shock exceeds a critical value. Efficiency wise, agents tend to exert higher effort under fixed performance contracts, on average. Additionally, an increase in the common shock standard deviation appeared to be associated with lower effort under tournaments. Our results shed light on the potential impact of legislative proposals to ban tournament contracts.
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