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Capital and Labor Effects in a Recall Task: More Evidence in Support of Camerer and Hogarth (1999)

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  • Ondrej Rydval

Abstract

This paper extends existing evidence on the interaction and relative productivity of cognitive effort and cognitive capital in an experimental environment. I focus on the impact of task-specific cognitive capital, which is central to the capital-labor argument of Camerer and Hogarth (1999) as well as related research in cognitive science and behavioral decision making. Using a memory recall task situated in an accounting setting, I show that the impact of taskspecific accounting knowledge on recall performance varies with the timing of the introduction of performance-contingent financial incentives. I further illustrate that subjects better endowed with task-specific accounting knowledge greater improve recall performance in response to the introduction of performance-contingent financial incentives. I draw implications for further research of the capital-labor-production framework and for compensation practices in experiments as well as work settings.

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Paper provided by The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague in its series CERGE-EI Working Papers with number wp264.

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Date of creation: Jun 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp264

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Keywords: Financial incentives; Cognitive abilities; Experiments; Field experiments.;

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  1. Roland BĂ©nabou & Jean Tirole, 2003. "Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(3), pages 489-520.
  2. Ondrej Rydval & Andreas Ortmann, 2004. "How financial incentives and cognitive abilities affect task performance in laboratory settings: An illustration," CERGE-EI Working Papers, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague wp221, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
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