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The Magic of the Personal Touch: Field Experimental Evidence on Money and Appreciation as Gifts

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  • Christiane Bradler
  • Susanne Neckermann

Abstract

In this paper, we use two field experiments in professional settings to explore the effort levels of individuals in response to gifts. We extend the literature by looking at non‐financial gifts that signal worker appreciation and gifts that combine financial and non‐financial elements with or without a personal touch. We find that while money and appreciation are individually effective, these only work well together when they are combined with a personal touch. This suggests that responses to gifts are sensitive to the presentation of the gift as well as to interpersonal elements; these are factors that have so far been largely ignored in the literature but are easy to incorporate into existing principal–agent models.

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  • Christiane Bradler & Susanne Neckermann, 2019. "The Magic of the Personal Touch: Field Experimental Evidence on Money and Appreciation as Gifts," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 121(3), pages 1189-1221, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:121:y:2019:i:3:p:1189-1221
    DOI: 10.1111/sjoe.12310
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    Cited by:

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    3. Hornuf, Lars & Jeworrek, Sabrina, 2018. "Crowdsourced innovation: How community managers affect crowd activities," IWH Discussion Papers 13/2018, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    4. Cao, Cangjian & Li, Sherry Xin & Liu, Tracy Xiao, 2020. "A gift with thoughtfulness: A field experiment on work incentives," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 17-42.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

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