Experimental Economics Seminar - Alexander Rieber (Ulm University)

Paper:  The Impact of information on homogeneous contestants: Evidence from table tennis (with Janina Kleinknecht, Daniel W├╝rtenberg)

Abstract: We investigate the behavior of homogeneous contestants under different degrees of ex-ante information about their opponents’ ability. To tackle this question we exploit a natural experiment in table tennis, namely the introduction of Elo-Ratings in 2011, which provides contestants with standardized information about their opponents’ ability. We find a positive impact on competition intensity, especially for situations when ex-ante information was sparse prior to the disclosure of such information. Further and contradicting to the theory, weak favorites in homogeneous matches perform worse when being aware of their favorite status which might be rooted in chocking under pressure. Our results contribute to the optimal setup of incentive schemes in a business environment, or in tournament design.