Team Incentives: Evidence from a Firm Level Experiment
AbstractMany organizations rely on teamwork, and yet field evidence on the impacts of team-based incentives remains scarce. Compared to individual incentives, team incentives can affect productivity by changing both workers' effort and team composition. We present evidence from a field experiment designed to evaluate the impact of rank incentives and tournaments on the productivity and composition of teams. Strengthening incentives, either through rankings or tournaments, makes workers more likely to form teams with others of similar ability instead of with their friends. Introducing rank incentives however reduces average productivity by 14%, whereas introducing a tournament increases it by 24%. Both effects are heterogeneous: rank incentives only reduce the productivity of teams at the bottom of the productivity distribution, and monetary prize tournaments only increase the productivity of teams at the top. We interpret these results through a theoretical framework that makes precise when the provision of team-based incentives crowds out the productivity enhancing effect of social connections under team production.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6279.
Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of the European Economic Association, 2013, 11 (5), 1079-1114
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Other versions of this item:
- Oriana Bandiera & Iwan Barankay & Imran Rasul, 2013. "Team Incentives: Evidence From A Firm Level Experiment," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(5), pages 1079-1114, October.
- Bandiera, Oriana & Barankay, Iwan & Rasul, Imran, 2012. "Team Incentives: Evidence from a Firm Level Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 8776, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
- J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
- M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-02-08 (All new papers)
- NEP-BEC-2012-02-08 (Business Economics)
- NEP-CBE-2012-02-08 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-CTA-2012-02-08 (Contract Theory & Applications)
- NEP-EXP-2012-02-08 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-HRM-2012-02-08 (Human Capital & Human Resource Management)
- NEP-LAB-2012-02-08 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-PPM-2012-02-08 (Project, Program & Portfolio Management)
- NEP-SOC-2012-02-08 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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