Cookies?
Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Risk taking and performance in multistage tournaments: evidence from weightlifting competitions

Genakos, Christos and Pagliero, Mario (2009) Risk taking and performance in multistage tournaments: evidence from weightlifting competitions. CEP Discussion Paper, No. 928. Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

[img]
Preview
PDF
Download (1323Kb) | Preview

Abstract

We analyze the impact of interim ranking on the risk taking and performance behaviour of professional athletes participating in international weightlifting competitions. Weightlifting competitions are multistage tournaments with the unique characteristic that the athletes must announce in advance the amount they intend to lift at each stage, thus allowing quantification of the riskiness of their choices. We present two key findings. First, risk taking exhibits an inverted-U relationship with rank: risk taking increases up to rank six, but athletes then revert to safer strategies towards the bottom of the ranking. Second, athletes systematically underperform when ranked closer to the top, despite higher incentives to perform well. An athlete is more than 30 percent less likely to lift the announced weight when ranked first than tenth. Athletes also underperform in relatively more prestigious competitions, when the competition is more intense, and when the potential gain from a successful lift is higher. Taken together, these findings suggest that athletes may systematically “choke under pressure”.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/
Additional Information: © 2009 The authors
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Journal of Economic Literature Classification System: L - Industrial Organization > L8 - Industry Studies: Services > L83 - Sports; Gambling; Recreation; Tourism
M - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting > M5 - Personnel Economics > M52 - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects (stock options, fringe benefits, incentives, family support programs, seniority issues)
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J2 - Time Allocation, Work Behavior, and Employment Determination and Creation; Human Capital; Retirement > J24 - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
Z - Other Special Topics > Z1 - Cultural Economics; Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology > Z13 - Social Norms and Social Capital; Social Networks
Sets: Collections > Economists Online
Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Identification Number: No. 928
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2010 11:37
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/28599/

Actions (login required)

Record administration - authorised staff only Record administration - authorised staff only