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Hiring and Escalation Bias in Subjective Performance Evaluations: A Laboratory Experiment

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Author Info

  • Andrej Angelovski

    (Department of Business Economics,Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)

  • Jordi Brandts

    (Department of Business Economics,Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
    Institutd'AnalisiEconomica(CSIC)
    Barcelona GSE)

  • Carles Sola

    (Department of Business Economics,Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)

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    Abstract

    In many organizations the measurement of job performance can not rely on easily quantifiable information. In such cases, supervising managers often use subjective performance evaluations. We use laboratory experiments to study whether the way employees are assigned to a manager affects managers’ and co-employees’ subjective evaluations of employees. Employees can either be hired by the manager, explicitly not hired by him and nevertheless assigned to him or exogenously assigned to him. We present data from three different treatments. For all three we find escalation bias both by managers and by co-employees. Managers exhibit a positive bias towards those employees they have hired or a negative one towards those they have explicitly not hired. Managers’ and employees’ biases are connected. Exogenously assigned employees are biased in favor of employees hired by the manager and against those explicitly not hired.

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    File URL: http://repeck.bilgi.edu.tr/RePEc/beb/wpbels/BelisWP_BELIS02.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2014
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by BELIS, Istanbul Bilgi University in its series BELIS Working Papers with number 2014-02.

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    Date of creation: Mar 2014
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    Handle: RePEc:beb:wpbels:201402

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    Web page: http://belis.bilgi.edu.tr
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    1. Jordi Brandts & Carles Solà, 2006. "Personal Relations and their Effect on Behavior in an Organizational Setting: An Experimental Study," UFAE and IAE Working Papers, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC) 692.07, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
    2. Prendergast, Canice & Topel, Robert H, 1996. "Favoritism in Organizations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 958-78, October.
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    6. Christine Harbring & Bernd Irlenbusch, 2011. "Sabotage in Tournaments: Evidence from a Laboratory Experiment," Management Science, INFORMS, INFORMS, vol. 57(4), pages 611-627, April.
    7. Sushil Bikhchandani & David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 2010. "A theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom and cultural change as informational Cascades," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1193, David K. Levine.
    8. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
    9. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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    11. Prendergast, Canice & Topel, Robert, 1993. "Discretion and bias in performance evaluation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 355-365, April.
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