Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The Behavioralist Visits the Factory: Increasing Productivity Using Simple Framing Manipulations

Contents:

Author Info

  • Tanjim Hossain

    ()
    (Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E6, Canada)

  • John A. List

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60673)

Abstract

Recent discoveries in behavioral economics have led to important new insights concerning what can happen in markets. Such gains in knowledge have come primarily via laboratory experiments--a missing piece of the puzzle in many cases is parallel evidence drawn from naturally occurring field counterparts. We provide a small movement in this direction by taking advantage of a unique opportunity to work with a Chinese high-tech manufacturing facility. Our study revolves around using insights gained from one of the most influential lines of behavioral research--framing manipulations--in an attempt to increase worker productivity in the facility. Using a natural field experiment, we report several insights. For example, conditional incentives framed as both "losses" and "gains" increase productivity for both individuals and teams. In addition, teams more acutely respond to bonuses posed as losses than as comparable bonuses posed as gains. The magnitude of this framing effect is roughly 1%: that is, total team productivity is enhanced by 1% purely due to the framing manipulation. Importantly, we find that neither the framing nor the incentive effect lose their significance over time; rather, the effects are observed over the entire sample period. Moreover, we learn that repeated interaction with workers and conditionality of the bonus contract are substitutes for sustenance of incentive effects in the long run. This paper was accepted by Gérard P. Cachon, decision analysis.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1120.1544
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

Volume (Year): 58 (2012)
Issue (Month): 12 (December)
Pages: 2151-2167

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:58:y:2012:i:12:p:2151-2167

Contact details of provider:
Postal: 7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA
Phone: +1-443-757-3500
Fax: 443-757-3515
Email:
Web page: http://www.informs.org/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: framing effect; natural field experiment; worker productivity; loss aversion;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. John List, 2003. "Does market experience eliminate market anomalies?," Natural Field Experiments 00297, The Field Experiments Website.
  2. John A. List, 2003. "Neoclassical Theory Versus Prospect Theory: Evidence from the Marketplace," NBER Working Papers 9736, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Uri Gneezy & John A List, 2006. "Putting Behavioral Economics to Work: Testing for Gift Exchange in Labor Markets Using Field Experiments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(5), pages 1365-1384, 09.
  4. Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004. "Field Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
  5. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  6. Janet Landa & Xiao Wang, 2001. "Bounded Rationality of Economic Man: Decision Making under Ecological, Social, and Institutional Constraints," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 217-235, May.
  7. Hanemann, W Michael, 1991. "Willingness to Pay and Willingness to Accept: How Much Can They Differ?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 635-47, June.
  8. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
  9. Samuelson, William & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1988. " Status Quo Bias in Decision Making," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 7-59, March.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:58:y:2012:i:12:p:2151-2167. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.