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Feedback and Incentives: Experimental Evidence

  • Eriksson, Tor

    ()

    (Aarhus School of Business)

  • Poulsen, Anders

    ()

    (University of East Anglia)

  • Villeval, Marie Claire

    ()

    (CNRS, GATE)

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.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3440.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3440
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  1. Kandel, Eugene & Lazear, Edward P, 1992. "Peer Pressure and Partnerships," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 801-17, August.
  2. Ederer, Florian & Fehr, Ernst, 2007. "Deception and Incentives: How Dishonesty Undermines Effort Provision," IZA Discussion Papers 3200, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2005. "Do Women Shy Away from Competition? Do Men Compete too Much?," Discussion Papers 04-030, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  4. Dan Ariely & Uri Gneezy & George Loewenstein & Nina Mazar, 2005. "Large stakes and big mistakes," Working Papers 05-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  5. Jonathan Guryan & Kory Kroft & Matt Notowidigdo, 2007. "Peer Effects in the Workplace: Evidence from Random Groupings in Professional Golf Tournaments," NBER Working Papers 13422, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Gürtler, Oliver & Harbring, Christine, 2007. "Feedback in Tournaments under Commitment Problems: Theory and Experimental Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 3111, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. 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.
  8. Alex Gershkov & Motty Perry, 2006. "Tournaments with Midterm Reviews," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001229, UCLA Department of Economics.
  9. Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Masaki Aoyagi, 2003. "Information Feedback in a Dynamic Tournament," ISER Discussion Paper 0580, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  11. Oriana Bandiera & Iwan Barankay & Imran Rasul, 2005. "Social Preferences and the Response to Incentives: Evidence from Personnel Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(3), pages 917-962, August.
  12. Kräkel, Matthias, 2008. "Emotions in tournaments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 204-214, July.
  13. 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.
  14. Mas, Alexandre & Moretti, Enrico, 2006. "Peers at Work," IZA Discussion Papers 2292, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Schotter, Andrew & Weigelt, Keith, 1990. "Asymmetric Tournaments, Equal Opportunity Laws And Affirmative Action: Some Experimental Result," Working Papers 90-14, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  16. Dohmen, Thomas J., 2008. "Do professionals choke under pressure?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 636-653, March.
  17. Yildirim, Huseyin, 2005. "Contests with multiple rounds," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 213-227, April.
  18. 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.
  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. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-64, October.
  22. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
  23. Haraguchi, Kelii H. & Waddell, Glen R., 2007. "Interdependency in Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 2944, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  24. Alessandro Lizzeri & Margaret A. Meyer & Nicola Persico, 2002. "The Incentive Effects of Interim Performance Evaluations," Penn CARESS Working Papers 592e9328faf6e775bf331e1c0, Penn Economics Department.
  25. repec:dgr:kubcen:200343 is not listed on IDEAS
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