IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

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 individuals' performance and affective response, under both piece-rate and flat-rate incentives. In a laboratory setup, 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. Under piece-rate, 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. Under flat-rate, we do not find any effect on either of the outcome variables.

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 Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp1116.

in new window

Date of creation: Jan 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1116
Contact details of provider: Web page:

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. Kräkel, Matthias, 2008. "Emotions in tournaments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 204-214, July.
  2. Greiner, Ben & Ockenfels, Axel & Werner, Peter, 2011. "Wage transparency and performance: A real-effort experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 111(3), pages 236-238, June.
  3. Andrew E. Clark & Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2008. "Relative Income, Happiness, and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(1), pages 95-144, March.
  4. Oswald, Andrew J. & Proto, Eugenio & Sgroi, Daniel, 2008. "Happiness and Productivity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 882, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  5. Oriana Bandiera & Imran Rasul & Iwan Baranky, 2011. "Team incentives: evidence from a firm level experiment," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 58193, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  6. 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.
  7. Gächter, Simon & Thöni, Christian, 2010. "Social comparison and performance: Experimental evidence on the fair wage-effort hypothesis," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 531-543, December.
  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. 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.
  10. Gershkov, Alex & Perry, Motty, 2009. "Tournaments with midterm reviews," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 162-190, May.
  11. Florian Ederer, 2010. "Feedback and Motivation in Dynamic Tournaments," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 733-769, 09.
  12. Alexandre Mas & Enrico Moretti, 2006. "Peers at Work," NBER Working Papers 12508, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Florian Ederer & Ernst Fehr, 2007. "Deception and Incentives. How Dishonesty Undermines Effort Provision," IEW - Working Papers 341, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  14. Tor Eriksson & Anders Poulsen & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2008. "Feedback and Incentives : Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 0812, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
  15. Ghazala Azmat & Nagore Iriberri, 2009. "The importance of relative performance feedback information: Evidence from a natural experiment using high school students," Economics Working Papers 1148, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Mar 2010.
  16. repec:oup:qjecon:v:118:y:2003:i:3:p:1049-1074 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. repec:oup:qjecon:v:122:y:2007:i:3:p:1067-1101 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Josse Delfgaauw & Robert Dur & Joeri Sol & Willem Verbeke, 2013. "Tournament Incentives in the Field: Gender Differences in the Workplace," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(2), pages 305 - 326.
  19. Uri Gneezy & Kenneth L. Leonard & John A. List, 2008. "Gender Differences in Competition: Evidence from a Matrilineal and a Patriarchal Society," NBER Working Papers 13727, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. 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.
  21. Ockenfels, Axel & Sliwka, Dirk & Werner, Peter, 2010. "Bonus Payments and Reference Point Violations," IZA Discussion Papers 4795, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  22. Alexander Matros & Ernest K.Lai, 2006. "Sequential Contests with Ability Revelation," Working Papers 203, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2007.
  23. George Loewenstein, 2000. "Emotions in Economic Theory and Economic Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 426-432, May.
  24. 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.
  25. Stephen Eliot Hansen, 2010. "The benefits of limited feedback in organizations," Economics Working Papers 1232, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  26. 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.
  27. Müller, W. & Schotter, A., 2003. "Workaholics and Drop Outs in Optimal Organizations," Discussion Paper 2003-43, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  28. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  29. 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.
  30. Kuhnen, Camelia M. & Tymula, Agnieszka, 2008. "Rank expectations, feedback and social hierarchies," MPRA Paper 13428, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jan 2009.
  31. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-74, June.
  32. 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.
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:cep:cepdps:dp1116. 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: ()

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.