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Feedback and incentives: Experimental evidence

  • Tor Eriksson

    ()

    (Department of economics - University of Aarhus)

  • Anders Poulsen

    (School of economics - University of East Anglia)

  • Marie Claire Villeval

    ()

    (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - École Normale Supérieure (ENS) - Lyon - PRES Université de Lyon - Université Jean Monnet - Saint-Etienne - Université Claude Bernard - Lyon I)

This paper experimentally investigates the impact of different pay schemes and relative performance feedback policies on employee effort. We explore three feedback rules: No feedback on relative performance, feedback given halfway through the production period, and continuously updated feedback. We use two pay schemes, a piece rate and a tournament. We find that overall feedback does not improve performance. In contrast to the piece-rate pay scheme there is in tournaments some evidence of positive peer effects in tournaments since the underdogs almost never quit the competition even when lagging significantly behind, and front runners do not slack off. But in both pay schemes relative performance feedback reduces the quality of the low performers' work; we refer to this as a "negative quality peer effect".

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number halshs-00451557.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Publication status: Published, Labour Economics, 2009, 16, 6, pp. 679-688
Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00451557
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00451557
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  1. Edward P. Lazear & Sherwin Rosen, 1979. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," NBER Working Papers 0401, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Mas, Alexandre & Moretti, Enrico, 2006. "Peers at Work," CEPR Discussion Papers 5870, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  5. Imran Rasul & Iwan Barankay & Orana Bandiera, 2005. "Social preferences and the response to incentives: Evidence from personnel data," Natural Field Experiments 00212, The Field Experiments Website.
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  8. Aoyagi, Masaki, 2010. "Information feedback in a dynamic tournament," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 242-260, November.
  9. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2007. "Do Women Shy Away from Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1067-1101, 08.
  10. Bull, Clive & Schotter, Andrew & Weigelt, Keith, 1987. "Asymmetric Tournaments, Equal Opportunity Laws and Affirmative Action: Some Experimental Results," Working Papers 87-33, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  11. Maria Goltsman & Arijit Mukherjee, 2011. "Interim Performance Feedback in Multistage Tournaments: The Optimality of Partial Disclosure," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(2), pages 229 - 265.
  12. Leonard Daniel & Long Ngo Van, 2012. "IS EMULATION GOOD FOR YOU? THE UPs AND DOWNs OF RIVALRY," Global Journal of Economics (GJE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 1(01), pages 1250003-1-1.
  13. Gürtler, Oliver & Harbring, Christine, 2007. "Feedback in Tournaments under Commitment Problems: The-ory and Experimental Evidence," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 219, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  14. Dohmen, Thomas J., 2008. "Do professionals choke under pressure?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 636-653, March.
  15. Florian Ederer & Ernst Fehr, 2007. "Deception and Incentives. How Dishonesty Undermines Effort Provision," IEW - Working Papers 341, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  16. Kräkel, Matthias, 2008. "Emotions in tournaments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 204-214, July.
  17. Alex Gershkov & Motty Perry, 2006. "Tournaments with Midterm Reviews," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001229, UCLA Department of Economics.
  18. Kandel, E. & Lazear, E.P., 1990. "Peer Pressure and Partnerships," Papers 90-07, Rochester, Business - Managerial Economics Research Center.
  19. O'Keeffe, Mary & Viscusi, W Kip & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1984. "Economic Contests: Comparative Reward Schemes," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(1), pages 27-56, January.
  20. Catherine C. Eckel & Philip J. Grossman, 2008. "Forecasting Risk Attitudes: An Experimental Study Using Actual and Forecast Gamble Choices," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-01, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  21. Alessandro Lizzeri & Margaret A. Meyer & Nicola Persico, 2002. "The Incentive Effects of Interim Performance Evaluations," Penn CARESS Working Papers 592e9328faf6e775bf331e1c0, Penn Economics Department.
  22. Yildirim, Huseyin, 2005. "Contests with multiple rounds," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 213-227, April.
  23. Haraguchi, Kelii H. & Waddell, Glen R., 2007. "Interdependency in Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 2944, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  24. Brad M. Barber & Terrance Odean, 2001. "Boys Will Be Boys: Gender, Overconfidence, And Common Stock Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 261-292, February.
  25. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
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