The Absence of 'Order Effects' in Dynamic Tournaments: Evidence from a Real-Life Randomized Experiment
24 Pages Posted: 18 May 2011
Date Written: May 18, 2011
Many tournaments consist of multiple stages under asymmetric conditions. We analyze the efficiency of tournaments in which the order of a temporary advantage is randomly allocated by the tournament regulation. We find that the order in which the players have this advantage does not have an effect on the probability of winning the tournament. We then test the predictions of the model by using a randomized natural experiment in professional sports competitions. The setting is the two-leg knock-out structure in soccer tournaments where two teams are randomly allocated to have an advantage (to play at home) either in the first or the second stage of the competition. In contrast to the previous literature that provides evidence for a first-mover advantage due to preemptive behavior, we find no support for the proposition that the winning probability in dynamic tournaments depends on the order of advantages.
Keywords: Tournaments, order effects, randomized natural experiments
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