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What is an Award Worth? An Econometric Assessment of the Impact of Awards on Employee Performance

  • Susanne Neckermann
  • Reto Cueni
  • Bruno S. Frey

Behavioral economics documents the importance of status and self-image concerns in the workplace, but is largely silent about how to instrumentalize them to induce effort. Awards - widespread in the corporate sector and elsewhere - are motivators that derive their value from such social concerns. Panel data from the call center of a large international bank allow us to estimate the impact of receiving an award on effort. The performance of winners proves to be significantly higher than that of comparable non-recipients after the award has been presented. This increase in work effort is sizeable, robust, and not driven by reverse causation.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2657.

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Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2657
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