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Teams or Tournaments? A Field Experiment on Cooperation and Competition in Academic Achievement

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  • M. Bigoni
  • M. Fort
  • M. Nardotto
  • T. Reggiani

Abstract

This paper assesses the effect of two stylized and antithetic non-monetary incentive schemes on students’ effort. We collect data from a field experiment where incentives are exogenously imposed, performance is monitored and individual characteristics are observed. Students are randomly assigned to a tournament scheme that fosters competition between coupled students, a cooperative scheme that promotes information sharing and collaboration between students and a control treatment in which students can neither compete, nor cooperate. In line with theoretical predictions, we find that competition induces higher effort with respect to cooperation and cooperation does not increase effort with respect to the baseline. However, this is true only for men, while women do not seem to react to non-monetary incentives.

Suggested Citation

  • M. Bigoni & M. Fort & M. Nardotto & T. Reggiani, 2011. "Teams or Tournaments? A Field Experiment on Cooperation and Competition in Academic Achievement," Working Papers wp752, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  • Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:wp752
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    File URL: http://amsacta.unibo.it/4488/1/WP752.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Maria De Paola & Vincenzo Scoppa, 2010. "Peer group effects on the academic performance of Italian students," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(17), pages 2203-2215.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cárdenas, Juan Camilo & Dreber, Anna & von Essen, Emma & Ranehill, Eva, 2015. "Cooperativeness and competitiveness in children," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 32-41.
    2. Emmanuel Dechenaux & Dan Kovenock & Roman Sheremeta, 2015. "A survey of experimental research on contests, all-pay auctions and tournaments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(4), pages 609-669, December.
    3. Román Andrés Zárate, 2012. "Peer Effects, Cooperation and Competition in Human Capital Formation," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 009795, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • A22 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - Undergraduate
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General

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