Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 4-20-2010


In this paper I test the predictions of tournament theory using panel data from international fencing competitions. The theory predicts that for a given level of prize spread, agents’ effort incentives are reduced due to the asymmetry. Using two measures of prize spread, I estimate the impact of these measures on performance for five separate skill-sorted cohorts using OLS and the Heckman selection model. I find evidence of ordinal disincentive effects for fencers of a lower skill level, which is consistent with the predictions of the theory.

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.