May 2000

IZA DP No. 159: Preemptive Behavior in Sequential Tournaments

Peter J. Jost, Matthias Kräkel

published in: Economics of Governance, 2005, 6(3), 245-252

Rank-order tournaments are usually modeled simultaneously. However, real tournaments are often sequentially. We show that agents’ strategic behavior significantly differs in sequential tournaments compared to simultaneous tournaments. In a sequential tournament, under certain conditions the first acting agent chooses a preemptively high effort so that the following agent gives up. In general, the principal will prefer simultaneous tournaments in which preemptive behavior is impossible.