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Cooperation or Competition? A field experiment on non-monetary learning incentives

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  • Maria Bigoni
  • Margherita Fort
  • Mattia Nardotto
  • Tommaso Reggiani

Abstract

We assess the effect of two antithetic non-monetary incentive schemes based on grading rules on students' effort, using experimental data. We randomly assigned students to a tournament scheme that fosters competition between paired up students, a cooperative scheme that promotes information sharing and collaboration between students and a baseline treatment in which students can neither compete nor cooperate. In line with theoretical predictions, we find that competition induces higher effort with respect to cooperation, whereas cooperation does not increase effort with respect to the baseline treatment. Nonetheless, we find a strong gender effect since this result holds only for men while women do not react to this type of non-monetary incentives.

Suggested Citation

  • Maria Bigoni & Margherita Fort & Mattia Nardotto & Tommaso Reggiani, 2015. "Cooperation or Competition? A field experiment on non-monetary learning incentives," Framed Field Experiments 00408, The Field Experiments Website.
  • Handle: RePEc:feb:framed:00408
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Edwin Leuven & Hessel Oosterbeek & Bas van der Klaauw, 2010. "The Effect of Financial Rewards on Students' Achievement: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(6), pages 1243-1265, December.
    2. Massimiliano Bratti & Daniele Checchi & Antonio Filippin, 2011. "Should you compete or cooperate with your schoolmates?," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 275-289.
    3. Roland G. Fryer, 2011. "Financial Incentives and Student Achievement: Evidence from Randomized Trials," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1755-1798.
    4. Moussa P. Blimpo, 2014. "Team Incentives for Education in Developing Countries: A Randomized Field Experiment in Benin," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 90-109, October.
    5. Anna Dreber & Emma Essen & Eva Ranehill, 2011. "Outrunning the gender gap—boys and girls compete equally," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(4), pages 567-582, November.
    6. Nabanita Datta Gupta & Anders Poulsen & Marie Claire Villeval, 2013. "Gender Matching And Competitiveness: Experimental Evidence," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 816-835, January.
    7. Maria De Paola & Vincenzo Scoppa & Rosanna Nisticò, 2012. "Monetary Incentives and Student Achievement in a Depressed Labor Market: Results from a Randomized Experiment," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(1), pages 56-85.
    8. De Paola, Maria & Gioia, Francesca & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2015. "Are females scared of competing with males? Results from a field experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 117-128.
    9. Czibor, Eszter & Onderstal, Sander & Sloof, Randolph & van Praag, C. Mirjam, 2020. "Does relative grading help male students? Evidence from a field experiment in the classroom," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 75(C).
    10. Wayne A. Grove & Tim Wasserman, 2006. "Incentives and Student Learning: A Natural Experiment with Economics Problem Sets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 447-452, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Czibor, Eszter & Onderstal, Sander & Sloof, Randolph & van Praag, C. Mirjam, 2020. "Does relative grading help male students? Evidence from a field experiment in the classroom," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 75(C).
    2. Antoci, Angelo & Bonelli, Laura & Paglieri, Fabio & Reggiani, Tommaso & Sabatini, Fabio, 2019. "Civility and trust in social media," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 83-99.
    3. Wagner, Valentin & Riener, Gerhard, 2015. "Peers or parents? On non-monetary incentives in schools," DICE Discussion Papers 203, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).

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