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Tournaments Without Prizes: Evidence from Personnel Records

Author

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  • Jordi Blanes i Vidal

    (Managerial Economics and Strategy Group, London School of Economics, London WC2A 2AE, United Kingdom)

  • Mareike Nossol

    (Managerial Economics and Strategy Group, London School of Economics, London WC2A 2AE, United Kingdom)

Abstract

We use a quasi-experimental research design to study the effect of giving workers feedback on their relative performance. The setting is a firm in which workers are paid piece rates and where, for exogenous reasons, management begins to reveal to workers their relative position in the distribution of pay and productivity. We find that merely providing this information leads to a large and long-lasting increase in productivity that is costless to the firm. Our findings are consistent with the interpretation that workers' incipient concerns about their relative standing are activated by information about how they are performing relative to others. This paper was accepted by Olav Sorenson, organizations.

Suggested Citation

  • Jordi Blanes i Vidal & Mareike Nossol, 2011. "Tournaments Without Prizes: Evidence from Personnel Records," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(10), pages 1721-1736, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:57:y:2011:i:10:p:1721-1736
    DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.1110.1383
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    References listed on IDEAS

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