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Imhof, Lorens; Kräkel, Matthias (2013): Tournaments with Gaps. SFB/TR 15 Discussion Paper No. 411


A standard tournament contract specifies only tournament prizes. If agents’ performance is measured on a cardinal scale, the principal can complement the tournament contract by a gap which defines the minimum distance by which the best performing agent must beat the second best to receive the winner prize. We analyze a tournament with two risk averse agents. Under unlimited liability, the principal strictly benefits from a gap by partially insuring the agents and thereby reducing labor costs. If the agents are protected by limited liability, the principal sticks to the standard tournament.