• Graduate program
    • Why Tinbergen Institute?
    • Program Structure
    • Courses
    • Course Registration
    • Recent PhD Placements
    • Facilities
    • Admissions
  • Research
  • News
  • Events
    • Summer School
      • Introduction in Genome-Wide Data Analysis
      • Inequalities in Health and Healthcare
      • Crash Course in Experimental Economics
      • Econometric Methods for Forecasting and Data Science
      • Behavioral Macro and Complexity
      • Research on Productivity, Trade, and Growth
  • Times

Leuven, E., Oosterbeek, H., Sonnemans, J., and van der Klaauw, B. (2011). Incentives versus sorting in tournaments: evidence from a field experiment. Journal of Labor Economics, 29(3):637-658.


  • Journal
    Journal of Labor Economics

Existing field evidence on rank-order tournaments typically does not allow disentangling incentive and sorting effects. We conduct a field experiment illustrating the confounding effect. Students in an introductory microeconomics course selected themselves into tournaments with low, medium, or high prizes for the best score at the final exam. Nonexperimental analysis of the results would suggest that higher rewards induce higher productivity, but a comparison between treatment and control groups reveals that there is no such effect. This stresses the importance of nonrandom sorting into tournaments. © 2011 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.