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Feedback and incentives: Experimental evidence

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  • Eriksson, Tor
  • Poulsen, Anders
  • Villeval, Marie Claire

Abstract

This paper experimentally investigates the impact of different pay schemes and relative performance feedback policies on employee effort. We explore three feedback rules: no feedback on relative performance, feedback given halfway through the production period, and continuously updated feedback. We use two pay schemes, a piece rate and a tournament. We find that overall feedback does not improve performance. In contrast to the piece-rate pay scheme there is some evidence of positive peer effects in tournaments since the underdogs almost never quit the competition even when lagging significantly behind, and front runners do not slack off. But in both pay schemes relative performance feedback reduces the quality of the low performers' work; we refer to this as a "negative quality peer effect".

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 16 (2009)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 679-688

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:16:y:2009:i:6:p:679-688

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/labeco

Related research

Keywords: Tournament Piece rate Peer effects Feedback Evaluation Experiment;

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References

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  1. Gürtler, Oliver & Harbring, Christine, 2007. "Feedback in Tournaments under Commitment Problems: The-ory and Experimental Evidence," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 219, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
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  4. O'Keeffe, Mary & Viscusi, W Kip & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1984. "Economic Contests: Comparative Reward Schemes," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(1), pages 27-56, January.
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  11. Aoyagi, Masaki, 2010. "Information feedback in a dynamic tournament," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 242-260, November.
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  16. Maria Goltsman & Arijit Mukherjee, 2011. "Interim Performance Feedback in Multistage Tournaments: The Optimality of Partial Disclosure," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(2), pages 229 - 265.
  17. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2005. "Do Women Shy Away From Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?," NBER Working Papers 11474, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Jonathan Guryan & Kory Kroft & Matt Notowidigdo, 2007. "Peer Effects in the Workplace: Evidence from Random Groupings in Professional Golf Tournaments," NBER Working Papers 13422, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Kräkel, Matthias, 2008. "Emotions in tournaments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 204-214, July.
  20. Alessandro Lizzeri & Margaret A. Meyer & Nicola Persico, 2002. "The Incentive Effects of Interim Performance Evaluations," Penn CARESS Working Papers 592e9328faf6e775bf331e1c0, Penn Economics Department.
  21. Catherine C. Eckel & Philip J. Grossman, 2008. "Forecasting Risk Attitudes: An Experimental Study Using Actual and Forecast Gamble Choices," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series archive-01, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  22. Schotter, Andrew & Weigelt, Keith, 1992. "Asymmetric Tournaments, Equal Opportunity Laws, and Affirmative Action: Some Experimental Results," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 511-39, May.
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  24. Orana Bandiera & Iwan Barankay & Imran Rasul, 2005. "Social preferences and the response to incentives: Evidence from personnel data," Natural Field Experiments 00212, The Field Experiments Website.
  25. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
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