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More effort or better technologies? On the effect of relative performance feedback

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  • Gwen-Jiro Clochard
  • Guillaume Hollard
  • Julia Wirtz

Abstract

Relative performance feedback (RPF) allows agents to compare their performance to that of others. Current theory assumes that RPF affects performance by changing the optimal level of effort. We introduce a technology channel in which agents use RPF to improve their technologies. We compare the effort and technology channels by combining three elements: an extensive review, an original model and two field experiments. Under the technology channel, we highlight that RPF increases performance even at the bottom of the distribution and has a cumulative effect across periods. We draw implications for education and social norms.

Suggested Citation

  • Gwen-Jiro Clochard & Guillaume Hollard & Julia Wirtz, 2022. "More effort or better technologies? On the effect of relative performance feedback," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 22/767, School of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  • Handle: RePEc:bri:uobdis:22/767
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