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

Author

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Englmaier, Florian & Roider, Andreas & Sunde, Uwe, 2012. "The Role of Salience in Performance Schemes: Evidence from a Field Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 8921, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8921
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Viktor Slavtchev & Simon Wiederhold, 2016. "Does the Technological Content of Government Demand Matter for Private R&D? Evidence from US States," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 45-84, April.
    2. Schumacher, Heiner & Kemper, Niels, 2015. "Unfair Incentives: A Behavioral Note on Sharecropping," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112860, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Fuhai Hong & Tanjim Hossain & John List & Migiwa Tanaka, 2013. "Testing the Theory of Multitasking: Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment in Chinese Factories," Natural Field Experiments 00388, The Field Experiments Website.
    4. Florian Ederer & Richard Holden & Margaret Meyer, 2014. "Gaming and Strategic Opacity in Incentive Provision," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1935, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    5. Patrick Kampkötter & Dirk Sliwka, 2016. "The Complementary Use of Experiments and Field Data to Evaluate Management Practices: The Case of Subjective Performance Evaluations," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 172(2), pages 364-389, June.
    6. Margaret Meyer & Florian Ederer & Richard Holden, 2013. "Gaming and Strategic Ambiguity in Incentive Provision," Economics Series Working Papers 640, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    7. Sliwka, Dirk & Manthei, Kathrin, 2013. "Multitasking and the Benefits of Objective Performance Measurement - Evidence from a Field Experiment," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79968, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    attention; communication; field experiments; incentives; salience;

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

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