Selection and incentives in contests: evidence from horse racing

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The designer of internal labour market promotion contests must balance the need to select the best candidate with the need to provide incentives for all candidates. We use an extensive data set from horse racing – where there is abundant variation in contest design features – to analyse if there are particular features that help to achieve these two objectives. We find that contests with higher prize money and fewer participants are the most successful at achieving the dual remit of selection and incentives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-253
Number of pages4
JournalApplied Economics Letters
Issue number4
Early online date14 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • contests
  • relative performance
  • selection
  • quitting

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