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Dynamic Incentive Effects of Relative Performance Pay: A Field Experiment

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  • Delfgaauw, Josse

    () (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

  • Dur, Robert

    () (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

  • Non, Arjan

    () (ROA, Maastricht University)

  • Verbeke, Willem

    () (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Abstract

We conduct a field experiment among 189 stores of a retail chain to study dynamic incentive effects of relative performance pay. Employees in the randomly selected treatment stores could win a bonus by outperforming three comparable stores from the control group over the course of four weeks. Treatment stores received weekly feedback on relative performance. Control stores were kept unaware of their involvement, so that their performance generates exogenous variation in the relative performance of the treatment stores. As predicted by theory, we find that treatment stores that lag far behind do not respond to the incentives, while the responsiveness of treatment stores close to winning a bonus increases in relative performance. On average, the introduction of the relative performance pay scheme does not lead to higher performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Delfgaauw, Josse & Dur, Robert & Non, Arjan & Verbeke, Willem, 2013. "Dynamic Incentive Effects of Relative Performance Pay: A Field Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 7652, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7652
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    Cited by:

    1. Gosnell, Greer & Metcalfe, Robert & List, John A, 2016. "A new approach to an age-old problem: solving externalities by incenting workers directly," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 84331, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Josse Delfgaauw & Robert Dur & Arjan Non & Willem Verbeke, 2015. "The Effects of Prize Spread and Noise in Elimination Tournaments: A Natural Field Experiment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(3), pages 521-569.
    3. Guido Friebel & Matthias Heinz & Miriam Krueger & Nikolay Zubanov, 2017. "Team Incentives and Performance: Evidence from a Retail Chain," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(8), pages 2168-2203, August.
    4. repec:eee:jeborg:v:136:y:2017:i:c:p:76-90 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Delfgaauw, Josse & Dur, Robert & Souverijn, Michiel, 2017. "Team Incentives, Task Assignment, and Performance: A Field Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 11228, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Delfgaauw, Josse & Dur, Robert & Non, Arjan & Verbeke, Willem, 2014. "Dynamic incentive effects of relative performance pay: A field experiment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 1-13.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    dynamic incentives; relative performance pay; field experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

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