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The Spillover Effects of Monitoring: A Field Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Michèle Belot

    () (School of Economics, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH8 9JT, United Kingdom)

  • Marina Schröder

    () (Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences, University of Cologne, Albertus-Magnus-Platz, 50923 Cologne, Germany)

Abstract

We provide field experimental evidence of the effects of monitoring in a context where productivity is multidimensional and only one dimension is monitored and incentivized. We hire students to do a job for us. The job consists of identifying euro coins. We study the direct effects of monitoring and penalizing mistakes on work quality and evaluate spillovers on unmonitored dimensions of productivity (punctuality and theft). We find that monitoring improves work quality only if incentives are harsh, but substantially reduces punctuality irrespectively of the associated incentives. Monitoring does not affect theft, with 10% of participants stealing overall. Our findings are supportive of a reciprocity mechanism, whereby workers retaliate for being distrusted.Data, as supplemental material, are available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.2014.2089 . This paper was accepted by Uri Gneezy, behavioral economics .

Suggested Citation

  • Michèle Belot & Marina Schröder, 2016. "The Spillover Effects of Monitoring: A Field Experiment," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 62(1), pages 37-45, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:62:y:2016:i:1:p:37-45
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.2014.2089
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Manthei, Kathrin & Sliwka, Dirk & Vogelsang, Timo, 2019. "Talking about Performance or Paying for it? Evidence from a Field Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 12446, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. repec:eee:ejores:v:264:y:2018:i:2:p:462-471 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Florian Engl & Arno Riedl & Roberto A. Weber, 2017. "Spillover Effects of Institutions on Cooperative Behavior, Preferences, and Beliefs," CESifo Working Paper Series 6504, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Engl, Florian & Riedl, Arno & Weber, Roberto A., 2016. "Spillover Effects of Institutions on Cooperative Behavior, Preferences, and Beliefs," Research Memorandum 016, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    counterproductive behavior; monitoring; field experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • M42 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - Auditing
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

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