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How to Hire Helpers? Evidence From a Field Experiment

  • Julian Conrads

    (University of Cologne)

  • Bernd Irlenbusch

    (University of Cologne)

  • Tommaso Reggiani

    (University of Cologne)

  • Rainer Michael Rilke

    (University of Cologne)

  • Dirk Sliwka

    (University of Cologne)

How to hire voluntary helpers? We shed new light on this question by reporting a field experiment in which we invited 2,859 students to help at the 'ESA Europe 2012' conference. Invitation emails varied non-monetary and monetary incentives to convince subjects to offer help. Students could apply to help at the conference and, if so, also specify the working time they want to offer. Just asking subjects to volunteer or offering them a certificate turned out to be significantly more motivating than mentioning that the regular conference fee would be waived for helpers. Increasing monetary incentives by varying hourly wages of 1, 5, and 10 Euros shows positive effects on the number of applications and on the working time offered. However, when comparing these results with treatments without any monetary compensation, the number of applications could not be increased by offering money and may even be reduced.

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File URL: http://www.cgs.uni-koeln.de/fileadmin/wiso_fak/cgs/pdf/working_paper/cgswp_04-03.pdf
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Paper provided by Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences in its series Cologne Graduate School Working Paper Series with number 04-03.

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Date of creation: 29 May 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cgr:cgsser:04-03
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