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Motivating Knowledge Agents: Can Incentive Pay Overcome Social Distance?

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  • Erlend Berg
  • Maitreesh Ghatak
  • R Manjula
  • D Rajasekhar
  • Sanchari Roy

Abstract

This paper studies the interaction of incentive pay and social distance in the dissemination of information. We analyse theoretically as well as empirically the effect of incentive pay when agents have pro-social objectives, but also preferences over dealing with one social group relative to another. In a randomised field experiment undertaken across 151 villages in South India, local agents were hired to spread information about a public health insurance programme. Relative to at pay, incentive pay improves knowledge transmission to households that are socially distant from the agent, but not to households similar to the agent.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE in its series STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series with number 42.

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Date of creation: Mar 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cep:stieop:42

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Web page: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/default.asp

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Keywords: public services; information constraints; incentive pay; social proximity; knowledge transmission;

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