We ran a field experiment in a Dutch retail chain consisting of 128 stores. In a random sample of these stores, we introduced short-term sales competitions among subsets of stores. We find that sales competitions have a large effect on sales growth, but only in stores where the store's manager and a large fraction of the employees have the same gender. Remarkably, results are alike for sales competitions with and without monetary rewards, suggesting a high symbolic value of winning a tournament. Lastly, despite the substantial variation in team size, we find no evidence for free-riding.

awards, competition, field experiment, gender differences, sales contests
Field Experiments (jel C93), Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination (jel J16), Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects (stock options, fringe benefits, incentives, family support programs, seniority issues) (jel M52)
Tinbergen Institute
Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper Series
Discussion paper / Tinbergen Institute
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Delfgaauw, J, Dur, A.J, Sol, J, & Verbeke, W.J.M.I. (2009). Tournament Incentives in The Field: Gender Differences in The Workplace (No. TI 2009 - 069/1). Discussion paper / Tinbergen Institute. Tinbergen Institute. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/16517