Cheating in the Workplace: An Experimental Study of the Impact of Bonuses and Productivity
AbstractWe use an online real-effort experiment to investigate how bonus-based pay and worker productivity interact with workplace cheating. Firms often use bonus-based compensation plans, such as group bonuses and firm-wide profit sharing, that induce considerable uncertainty in how much workers are paid. Exposing workers to a compensation scheme based on random bonuses makes them cheat more but has no effect on their productivity. We also find that more productive workers behave more dishonestly. We explain how these results suggest that workers' cheating behavior responds to the perceived fairness of their employer's compensation scheme.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6725.
Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2012
Date of revision:
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
- J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-07-29 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2012-07-29 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2012-07-29 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-HRM-2012-07-29 (Human Capital & Human Resource Management)
- NEP-LAB-2012-07-29 (Labour Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- J Abeler & A Becker & A Falk, 2012.
"Truth-telling - A Representative Assessment,"
2012-15, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
- Trautmann, Stefan T., 2009. "A tractable model of process fairness under risk," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 803-813, October.
- Philipp Doerrenberg & Denvil Duncan, 2012.
"Experimental Evidence on the Relationship between Tax Evasion Opportunities and Labor Supply,"
Cologne Graduate School Working Paper Series
03-10, Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences.
- Doerrenberg, Philipp & Duncan, Denvil, 2012. "Experimental Evidence on the Relationship between Tax Evasion Opportunities and Labor Supply," IZA Discussion Papers 6914, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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