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The Role of Salience in Performance Schemes: Evidence from a Field Experiment

  • Englmaier, Florian
  • Roider, Andreas
  • Sunde, Uwe

Incentive schemes affect performance and priorities of agents but, in reality, they can be complicated even for simple tasks. We analyze the effects of the salience of incentives in a team production setting where the principal has an interest in quantity and quality of output. We use data from a controlled field experiment that changed the communication of the incentive system without changing the incentive system. The results indicate that salience of incentives itself is statistically and economically important for performance. We find that higher salience of incentives for quantity increases quantity, reduces quality, and increases in-pocket income of team managers.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8921.

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Date of creation: Mar 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8921
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  1. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2011. "Was There Really a Hawthorne Effect at the Hawthorne Plant? An Analysis of the Original Illumination Experiments," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 224-38, January.
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  8. Looney, Adam & Kroft, Kory & Chetty, Raj, 2009. "Salience and Taxation: Theory and Evidence," Scholarly Articles 9748525, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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