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The Interaction between Financial Incentives and Task-specific Cognitive Capital: More Evidence in Support of Camerer and Hogarth (1999)

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Author Info

  • Ondrej Rydval

    (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena, Germany.)

Abstract

This paper extends existing evidence on the interaction between financial incentives and cognitive capital. I focus on the impact of task-specific cognitive capital, the role of which is central to the capital-labor-production framework of Camerer and Hogarth (1999) and has long been studied in cognitive science and behavioral decision research. Using a task situated in an accounting setting, I show that both financial incentives and task-specific cognitive capital, and especially their interaction, matter for performance. In particular, the effect of task-specific cognitive capital on performance is stronger under performance-based financial incentives as compared to flat-rate incentives. The interaction effect arises because performance-based financial incentives lead to better performance only for individuals with more task-specific cognitive capital. I draw implications for compensation practices in experiments as well as work settings.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics in its series Jena Economic Research Papers with number 2007-039.

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Date of creation: 18 Jul 2007
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Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2007-039

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

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References

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  1. Plug, Erik & Vijverberg, Wim P., 2001. "Schooling, Family Background, and Adoption: Is it Nature or is it Nurture?," IZA Discussion Papers 247, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2002. "Self-Confidence And Personal Motivation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 871-915, August.
  3. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2003. "Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(3), pages 489-520.
  4. Camerer, Colin F & Hogarth, Robin M, 1999. "The Effects of Financial Incentives in Experiments: A Review and Capital-Labor-Production Framework," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 7-42, December.
  5. Ondrej Rydval & Andreas Ortmann, 2004. "How financial incentives and cognitive abilities affect task performance in laboratory settings: An illustration," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp221, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  6. Ignacio Palacios-Huerta, 2002. "Learning to Open Monty Hall's Doors," Working Papers 2002-23, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  7. Libby, Robert & Luft, Joan, 1993. "Determinants of judgment performance in accounting settings: Ability, knowledge, motivation, and environment," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 425-450, July.
  8. Bonner, Sarah E. & Sprinkle, Geoffrey B., 2002. "The effects of monetary incentives on effort and task performance: theories, evidence, and a framework for research," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 27(4-5), pages 303-345.
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