IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

The Provision of Relative Performance Feedback Information: An Experimental Analysis of Performance and Happiness

  • Ghazala Azmat
  • Nagore Iriberri

This paper studies the effect of providing relative performance feedback information on individual performance and on individual affective response, when agents are rewarded according to their absolute performance. In a laboratory set-up, agents perform a real effort task and when receiving feedback, they are asked to rate their happiness, arousal and feeling of dominance. Control subjects learn only their absolute performance, while the treated subjects additionally learn the average performance in the session. Performance is 17 percent higher when relative performance feedback is provided. Furthermore, although feedback increases the performance independent of the content (i.e., performing above or below the average), the content is determinant for the affective response. When subjects are treated, the inequality in the happiness and the feeling of dominance between those subjects performing above and below the average increases by 8 and 6 percentage points, respectively.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 454.

in new window

Date of creation: Apr 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:454
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27, 08005 Barcelona

Phone: +34 93 542-1222
Fax: +34 93 542-1223
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-74, June.
  2. Delfgaauw, Josse & Dur, Robert & Sol, Joeri & Verbeke, Willem, 2009. "Tournament Incentives in the Field: Gender Differences in the Workplace," IZA Discussion Papers 4395, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Uri Gneezy & Kenneth L. Leonard & John A. List, 2009. "Gender Differences in Competition: Evidence From a Matrilineal and a Patriarchal Society," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(5), pages 1637-1664, 09.
  4. Mas, Alexandre & Moretti, Enrico, 2006. "Peers at Work," CEPR Discussion Papers 5870, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Muriel Niederle & Alexandra H. Yestrumskas, 2008. "Gender Differences in Seeking Challenges: The Role of Institutions," NBER Working Papers 13922, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Wieland Muller & Andrew Schotter, 2007. "Workaholics and Drop Outs in Optimal Organizations," Working Papers 0022, New York University, Center for Experimental Social Science.
  7. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2007. "Do Women Shy Away From Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1067-1101.
  8. Andrew E. Clark & David Masclet & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2008. "Effort and comparison income: experimental and survey evidence," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28502, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  9. Oswald, Andrew J. & Proto, Eugenio & Sgroi, Daniel, 2009. "Happiness and Productivity," IZA Discussion Papers 4645, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Ederer, Florian & Fehr, Ernst, 2007. "Deception and Incentives: How Dishonesty Undermines Effort Provision," IZA Discussion Papers 3200, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  12. Bandiera, Oriana & Barankay, Iwan & Rasul, Imran, 2012. "Team Incentives: Evidence from a Firm Level Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 8776, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Ed Hopkins & Tatiana Kornienko, 2004. "Running to Keep in the Same Place: Consumer Choice as a Game of Status," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1085-1107, September.
  14. Samuel Bowles, 1998. "Endogenous Preferences: The Cultural Consequences of Markets and Other Economic Institutions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 75-111, March.
  15. Christian Thöni & Simon Gächter, 2009. "Social Comparison and Performance: Experimental Evidence on the Fair Wage-Effort Hypothesis," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2009 2009-29, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  16. Kräkel, Matthias, 2008. "Emotions in tournaments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 204-214, July.
  17. Ben Greiner & Axel Ockenfels & Peter Werner, 2010. "Wage Transparency and Performance: A Real-Effort Experiment," Working Paper Series in Economics 48, University of Cologne, Department of Economics.
  18. Eriksson, Tor & Poulsen, Anders & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2008. "Feedback and Incentives: Experimental Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 3440, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. Azmat, Ghazala & Iriberri, Nagore, 2010. "The importance of relative performance feedback information: Evidence from a natural experiment using high school students," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(7-8), pages 435-452, August.
  20. Uri Gneezy & Muriel Niederle & Aldo Rustichini, 2003. "Performance in Competitive Environments: Gender Differences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1049-1074.
  21. Alex Gershkov & Motty Perry, 2006. "Tournaments with Midterm Reviews," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001229, UCLA Department of Economics.
  22. Andrew E. Clark & Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2008. "Relative income, happiness, and utility: An explanation for the Easterlin paradox and other puzzles," Post-Print halshs-00754299, HAL.
  23. repec:pit:wpaper:203 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. Ockenfels, Axel & Sliwka, Dirk & Werner, Peter, 2010. "Bonus Payments and Reference Point Violations," IZA Discussion Papers 4795, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  25. George Loewenstein, 2000. "Emotions in Economic Theory and Economic Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 426-432, May.
  26. Kate Antonovics & Peter Arcidiacono & Randall Walsh, 2009. "The Effects of Gender Interactions in the Lab and in the Field," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 152-162, February.
  27. Stephen Eliot Hansen, 2010. "The benefits of limited feedback in organizations," Economics Working Papers 1232, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  28. Florian Ederer, 2010. "Feedback and Motivation in Dynamic Tournaments," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 733-769, 09.
  29. Brandts, Jordi & Riedl, Arno & van Winden, Frans, 2009. "Competitive rivalry, social disposition, and subjective well-being: An experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(11-12), pages 1158-1167, December.
  30. Robin Hogarth & Natalia Karelaia & Carlos Andrés Trujillo, 2009. "Under-achievement and the glass ceiling: Evidence from a TV game show," Economics Working Papers 1165, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  31. Pablo Casas-Arce & F. Asís Martínez-Jerez, 2009. "Relative Performance Compensation, Contests, and Dynamic Incentives," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(8), pages 1306-1320, August.
  32. Kuhnen, Camelia M. & Tymula, Agnieszka, 2008. "Rank expectations, feedback and social hierarchies," MPRA Paper 13428, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jan 2009.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:454. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bruno Guallar)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.