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Incentive Systems in a Real Effort Experiment

  • Frans van Dijk
  • Joep Sonnemans
  • Frans van Winden

In the reported experiment different payment schemes are examined on their incentive effects. Payment based on individual, team an d relative performance are compared. Subjects conducted computerized tasks that required substantial effort. The results show that individual and team payment induced the same effort levels. In team production free-riding occurred, but it was compensated by many subjects providing more effort than in case of individual pay. Effort was higher, but more variable in tournaments, while in case of varying abilities workers with relatively low ability worked very hard and drove up effort of the others. Finally, attitudes towards work and other workers differed strongly between conditions.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 272.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_272
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  1. Pingle, Mark, 1997. "Submitting to authority: Its effect on decision-making," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 45-68, February.
  2. Schotter, Andrew & Weigelt, Keith, 1990. "Asymmetric Tournaments, Equal Opportunity Laws And Affirmative Action: Some Experimental Result," Working Papers 90-14, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  3. Knoeber, Charles R & Thurman, Walter N, 1994. "Testing the Theory of Tournaments: An Empirical Analysis of Broiler Production," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(2), pages 155-79, April.
  4. Edward P. Lazear, 1996. "Performance Pay and Productivity," NBER Working Papers 5672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Georg Kirchsteiger & Ernst Fehr & Arno Riedl, 1993. "Does Fairness Prevent Market Clearing? An Experimental Investigation," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5927, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  6. Canice Prendergast, 1996. "What Happens Within Firms? A Survey of Empirical Evidence on Compensation Policies," NBER Working Papers 5802, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Bull, Clive & Schotter, Andrew & Weigelt, Keith, 1987. "Tournaments and Piece Rates: An Experimental Study," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(1), pages 1-33, February.
  8. Kandel, E. & Lazear, E.P., 1990. "Peer Pressure and Partnerships," Papers 90-07, Rochester, Business - Managerial Economics Research Center.
  9. Nalbantian, Haig R & Schotter, Andrew, 1997. "Productivity under Group Incentives: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 314-41, June.
  10. Pingle, Mark, 1995. "Imitation versus rationality: An experimental perspective on decision making," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 281-315.
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