NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Andy Brownback

University of Arkansas
Business Building 423
Fayetteville, AR 72701

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: University of Arkansas

NBER Working Papers and Publications

May 2014Grading on a Curve, and other Effects of Group Size on All-Pay Auctions
with James Andreoni: w20184
We model contests with a fixed proportion of prizes, such as a grading curve, as all-pay auctions where higher effort weakly increases the likelihood of a prize. We find theoretical predictions for the effect of contest size on effort and test our predictions in a laboratory experiment that compares two-bidder auctions with one prize and 20-bidder auctions with ten prizes. Our results demonstrate that larger contests elicit lower effort by low-skilled students, but higher effort by high-skilled. Large contests also generate more accurate rankings of students and more accurate assignment of high grades to the high-skilled.

Published: Andreoni, James, and Andy Brownback. "All pay auctions and group size: Grading on a curve and other applications." Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 137 (2017): 361-373.

 
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