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Tournaments consisting of iterative matches are a common mechanism for determining how to allocate a prize. For this reason it is important to understand the behavioral as well as the theoretical properties of different tournament structures. Given that laboratory experiments have consistently found high levels of overbidding in contests, one might suspect that double-elimination tournaments would generate substantially more total investment than single-elimination tournaments despite the two types of tournaments generating theoretically equivalent expected aggregate investment. This paper reports a set of laboratory experiments designed to test this comparison. The results indicate that aggregate investment is similar between the two tournaments, despite behavioral differences in bidding strategies.


NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, volume 116, in 2015. DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2015.05.019

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