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Motivating Knowledge Agents: Can Incentive Pay Overcome Social Distance?

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  • Erlend Berg
  • Maitreesh Ghatak
  • Manjula Ramachandra
  • Rajasekhar Durgam
  • Sanchari Roy

Abstract

This paper studies the interaction of incentive pay and social distance in the dissemination of information. We analyse theoretically as well as empirically the effect of incentive pay when agents have pro-social objectives, but also preferences over dealing with one social group relative to another. In a randomised field experiment undertaken across 151 villages in South India, local agents were hired to spread information about a public health insurance programme. Relative to flat pay, incentive pay improves knowledge transmission to households that are socially distant from the agent, but not to households similar to the agent.

Suggested Citation

  • Erlend Berg & Maitreesh Ghatak & Manjula Ramachandra & Rajasekhar Durgam & Sanchari Roy, 2013. "Motivating Knowledge Agents: Can Incentive Pay Overcome Social Distance?," CSAE Working Paper Series 2013-06, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2013-06
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    File URL: http://www.csae.ox.ac.uk/materials/papers/csae-wps-2013-06.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Katrin Schmelz & Anthony Ziegelmeyer, 2015. "Social Distance and Control Aversion: Evidence from the Internet and the Laboratory," TWI Research Paper Series 100, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
    2. A. Stefano Caria & Marcel Fafchamps, 2015. "Can Farmers Create Efficient Information Networks? Experimental Evidence from Rural India," CSAE Working Paper Series 2015-07, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    3. Oliver Kirchkamp & Wladislaw Mill, 2018. "Conditional Cooperation and the Effect of Punishment," CESifo Working Paper Series 7115, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Singh, Prakarsh & Masters, William A., 2017. "Impact of caregiver incentives on child health: Evidence from an experiment with Anganwadi workers in India," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 219-231.
    5. A Stefano Caria & Marcel Fafchamps, 2014. "Cooperation and Expectations in Networks: Evidence from a Network Public Good Experiment in Rural India," CSAE Working Paper Series 2014-33, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    6. Afridi, Farzana, 2017. "Governance and Public Service Delivery in India," IZA Discussion Papers 10856, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    public services; information constraints; incentive pay; social proximity; knowledge transmission;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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