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Teams or Tournaments? A Field Experiment on Cooperation and Competition among University Students

Author

Listed:
  • Bigoni, Maria

    () (University of Bologna)

  • Fort, Margherita

    () (University of Bologna)

  • Nardotto, Mattia

    () (Telecom - Paris Tech)

  • Reggiani, Tommaso G.

    () (Masaryk University)

Abstract

This paper assesses the effect of two stylized and antithetic non-monetary incentive schemes on students’ effort. We collect data from a field experiment where incentives are exogenously imposed, performance is monitored and individual characteristics are observed. Students are randomly assigned to a tournament scheme that fosters competition between coupled students, a cooperative scheme that promotes information sharing and collaboration between students and a control 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 and cooperation does not increase effort with respect to the baseline. However, this is true only for men, while women do not seem to react to non-monetary incentives.

Suggested Citation

  • Bigoni, Maria & Fort, Margherita & Nardotto, Mattia & Reggiani, Tommaso G., 2011. "Teams or Tournaments? A Field Experiment on Cooperation and Competition among University Students," IZA Discussion Papers 5844, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5844
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Cárdenas, Juan Camilo & Dreber, Anna & von Essen, Emma & Ranehill, Eva, 2015. "Cooperativeness and competitiveness in children," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 32-41.
    2. Czibor, Eszter & Onderstal, Sander & Sloof, Randolph & van Praag, Mirjam C., 2014. "Does Relative Grading Help Male Students? Evidence from a Field Experiment in the Classroom," IZA Discussion Papers 8429, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Sam Allgood & William B. Walstad & John J. Siegfried, 2015. "Research on Teaching Economics to Undergraduates," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 53(2), pages 285-325, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    education; cooperation; incentives; field experiments; competition;

    JEL classification:

    • A22 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - Undergraduate
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General

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