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Mueller-Langer, Frank; Andreoli-Versbach, Patrick (17. June 2013): Leading-effect vs. Risk-taking in Dynamic Tournaments: Evidence from a Real-life Randomized Experiment. Discussion Papers in Economics 2013-6




Two 'order effects' may emerge in dynamic tournaments with information feedback. First, participants adjust effort across stages, which could advantage the leading participant who faces a larger 'effective prize' after an initial victory (leading-effect). Second, participants lagging behind may increase risk at the final stage as they have 'nothing to lose' (risk-taking). We use a randomized natural experiment in professional two-game soccer tournaments where the treatment (order of a stage-specific advantage) and team characteristics, e.g. ability, are independent. We develop an identification strategy to test for leading-effects controlling for risk-taking. We find no evidence of leading-effects and negligible risk-taking effects.