We study career choice when competition for promotion is a contest. A more meritocratic profession always succeeds in attracting the highest ability types, whereas a profession with superior promotion benefits attracts high types only if the hazard rate of the noise in performance evaluation is strictly increasing. Raising promotion opportunities produces no systematic effect on the talent distribution, while a higher base wage attracts talent only if total promotion opportunities are sufficiently plentiful

career choice, meritocracy, promotion competition, selection
Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity (jel J24), Public Sector Labor Markets (jel J45), 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
Tinbergen Institute

Morgan, J, Sisak, D, & Vardy, F. (2012). On the Merits of Meritocracy (No. TI 12-077/1). Discussion paper / Tinbergen Institute (pp. 1–45). Tinbergen Institute. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/34712