nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2018‒10‒08
one paper chosen by
Humberto Barreto
DePauw University

  1. Fighting alone or fighting for a team: Evidence from experimental pairwise contests By Lingbo Huang; Zarah Murad

  1. By: Lingbo Huang (Monash University); Zarah Murad (University of Portsmouth)
    Abstract: People who compete alone may entertain different psychological motivations from those who compete for a team. Using a real-effort experiment, we examine the behavioural consequences of these psychological motivations, absent strategic interdependence and uncertainty among team members. We exploit a dynamic pairwise team contest in which strategic uncertainties among team members play a minimised role in individual rational behaviour; and we create strategically-equivalent individual contests to isolate the pure psychological effects of team situation on individual competitive behaviour. We find that behaviour in individual contests and in sterile team contests follows a psychological momentum effect in which leaders work harder than trailers. In contrast, in team contests enriched with intra-team communication, behaviour follows a neutral effect. We discuss the implications of our results for theoretical modelling of contests and practical implications for the optimal design of team incentive schemes and personnel management.
    Keywords: individual versus team behaviour, real-effort experiment, pairwise team contest, best-of-three team contest, communication, psychological momentum effect
    JEL: C33 C72 D79 C91 C92
    Date: 2018–09–19

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