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Feedback and Incentives : Experimental Evidence

Author

Listed:
  • Tor Eriksson

    () (Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus University, Department of Economics and Center for Corporate Performance)

  • Anders Poulsen

    () (School of Economics, University of East Anglia)

  • Marie-Claire Villeval

    () (GATE, University of Lyon, CNRS, ENS-LSH, Centre Léon Bérard, France)

Abstract

This paper experimentally investigates the impact of different pay and relative performance information policies on employee effort. We explore three information policies: No feedback about relative performance, feedback given halfway through the production period, and continuously updated feedback. The pay schemes are a piece rate payment scheme and a winner-takes-all tournament. We find that, regardless of the pay scheme used, feedback does not improve performance. There are no significant peer effects in the piece-rate pay scheme. In contrast, in the tournament scheme we find some evidence of positive peer effects since the underdogs almost never quit the competition even when lagging significantly behind, and frontrunners do not slack off. Moreover, in both pay schemes information feedback reduces the quality of the low performers’ work.

Suggested Citation

  • Tor Eriksson & Anders Poulsen & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2008. "Feedback and Incentives : Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 0812, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
  • Handle: RePEc:gat:wpaper:0812
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    evaluation; feedback; information; laboratory experiments; peer effects; performance pay; piece rate; tournament;

    JEL classification:

    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • 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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