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Do tournament incentives matter in academics? Evidence from personnel data in a top-tier university in China

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  • Zhang, Haifeng
  • Zhang, Junsen
  • Zhang, Yanfeng

Abstract

Using unique personnel data collected from a Chinese top-tier university, this paper investigates the net effects of a tournament-type incentive scheme on faculty performance as measured by average student ratings and research output. Two-step estimation results show that an increase in the pay spread between adjacent position levels improves faculty performance in teaching and research. Several robustness checks suggest that this net incentive effect remains sizeable even if a potential selectivity effect is controlled for.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhang, Haifeng & Zhang, Junsen & Zhang, Yanfeng, 2019. "Do tournament incentives matter in academics? Evidence from personnel data in a top-tier university in China," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 84-106.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:166:y:2019:i:c:p:84-106
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2019.08.018
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Pay spread; Incentive; Tournament; Faculty performance; Two-step estimation method;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations

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