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Self-worth versus net worth: Image motivation and the quantity-quality trade-off

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  • Brock, Michelle

Abstract

Self-image concerns can motivate behaviour over which it is difficult to contract. We investigate how self-image concerns impact the quantity-quality trade-off of professionals, independent of external reputation. To do so, we use a framed field experiment with judges. The experiment measures the effect of self-image concerns compared to that of a bonus and to that of combing both incentives. We find that while both incentives increase the quantity of work, bonuses generate much worse quality. Subjects are less willing to engage in opportunistic behaviour to earn the bonus, however, if a peer might see their work, albeit anonymously.

Suggested Citation

  • Brock, Michelle, 2017. "Self-worth versus net worth: Image motivation and the quantity-quality trade-off," CEPR Discussion Papers 12208, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:12208
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    intrinsic incentives; judges; professionalism; real-effort task; Self-image; Tajikistan;

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

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