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Treating Equals Unequally: Incentives in Teams, Workers' Motivation and Production Technology

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Author Info

  • Goerg, Sebastian

    ()
    (Florida State University)

  • Kube, Sebastian

    ()
    (University of Bonn)

  • Zultan, Ro'i

    ()
    (Max Planck Institute for Economics)

Abstract

The importance of fair and equal treatment of workers is at the heart of the debate in organizational management. In this regard, we study how reward mechanisms and production technologies affect effort provision in teams. Our experimental results demonstrate that unequal rewards can potentially increase productivity by facilitating coordination, and that the effect strongly interacts with the exact shape of the production function. Taken together, our data highlight the relevance of the production function for organization construction and suggest that equal treatment of equals is neither a necessary nor a sufficient prerequisite for eliciting high performance in teams.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3959.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Labor Economics, 2010, 28 (4), 747 - 772
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3959

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Related research

Keywords: discriminating mechanism; laboratory experiment; social preferences; production function; equity; team incentives; mechanism desig;

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References

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  6. Esteban F. Klor & Sebastian Kube & Eyal Winter & Ro'i Zultan, 2011. "Can Higher Bonuses Lead to Less E ort? Incentive Reversal in Teams," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000073, David K. Levine.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Esteban Klor & Sebastian Kube & Eyal Winter & Ro'i Zultan, 2013. "Can Higher Rewards Lead To Less Effort? Incentive Reversal In Teams," Working Papers 1309, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
  2. Lewis Evans & Graeme Guthrie & Neil Quigley, 2012. "Contemporary Microeconomic Foundations for the Structure and Management of the Public Sector," Treasury Working Paper Series 12/01, New Zealand Treasury.
  3. Esteban F. Klor & Sebastian Kube & Eyal Winter & Ro'i Zultan, 2011. "Can Higher Bonuses Lead to Less E ort? Incentive Reversal in Teams," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000073, David K. Levine.
  4. Abeler, Johannes & Altmann, Steffen & Goerg, Sebastian & Kube, Sebastian & Wibral, Matthias, 2011. "Equity and Efficiency in Multi-Worker Firms: Insights from Experimental Economics," IZA Discussion Papers 5727, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Klor, Esteban F. & Kube, Sebastian & Winter, Eyal & Zultan, Ro’i, 2014. "Can higher rewards lead to less effort? Incentive reversal in teams," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 72-83.
  6. Roi Zultan & Eva-Maria Steiger, 2011. "See No Evil: Information Chains and Reciprocity in Teams," Working Papers 1108, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
  7. Steiger, Eva-Maria & Zultan, Ro'i, 2014. "See no evil: Information chains and reciprocity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 1-12.
  8. Sven Fischer & Eva-Maria Steiger, 2009. "Exploring the Effects of Unequal and Secretive Pay," Jena Economic Research Papers 2009-107, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.

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