IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/jrp/jrpwrp/2010-013.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Committing to Incentives: Should the Decision to Sanction be Revealed or Hidden?

Author

Listed:
  • Charlotte Klempt

    (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena)

  • Kerstin Pull

    (Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration)

Abstract

Sanctions are widely used to promote compliance in principal-agent-relationships. While there is ample evidence confirming the predicted positive incentive effect of sanctions, it has also been shown that imposing sanctions may in fact reduce compliance by crowding-out intrinsic motivation. We add to the literature on the hidden costs of control by showing that these costs are restricted to situations where principals ex ante reveal their decision to sanction low compliance. If this decision is not revealed and agents do not know whether they will be sanctioned or not in case of low compliance, we do not find evidence of crowding-out - not even in those cases where agents firmly believe that they will be sanctioned in case of low performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Charlotte Klempt & Kerstin Pull, 2010. "Committing to Incentives: Should the Decision to Sanction be Revealed or Hidden?," Jena Economics Research Papers 2010-013, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2010-013
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://oweb.b67.uni-jena.de/Papers/jerp2010/wp_2010_013.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jian Li & Erte Xiao & Daniel Houser & P. Read Montague, 2009. "Neural Responses to Sanction Threats in Two-Party Economic Exchange," Working Papers 1012, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science.
    2. Fehr, Ernst & Falk, Armin, 2002. "Psychological foundations of incentives," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 687-724, May.
    3. Rigdon, Mary, 2009. "Trust and reciprocity in incentive contracting," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(1-2), pages 93-105, May.
    4. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
    5. Simon Gachter & Ernst Fehr, 2000. "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 980-994, September.
    6. Grether, David M., 1992. "Testing bayes rule and the representativeness heuristic: Some experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 31-57, January.
    7. Uri Gneezy & Aldo Rustichini, 2000. "Pay Enough or Don't Pay at All," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 115(3), pages 791-810.
    8. Dickinson, David & Villeval, Marie-Claire, 2008. "Does monitoring decrease work effort?: The complementarity between agency and crowding-out theories," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 56-76, May.
    9. Wendelin Schnedler & Radovan Vadovic, 2011. "Legitimacy of Control," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(4), pages 985-1009, December.
    10. Dan Ariely & Anat Bracha & Stephan Meier, 2009. "Doing Good or Doing Well? Image Motivation and Monetary Incentives in Behaving Prosocially," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 544-555, March.
    11. Jean Tirole & Roland Bénabou, 2006. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1652-1678, December.
    12. Camerer, Colin F & Hogarth, Robin M, 1999. "The Effects of Financial Incentives in Experiments: A Review and Capital-Labor-Production Framework," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 7-42, December.
    13. James Andreoni & William Harbaugh & Lise Vesterlund, 2003. "The Carrot or the Stick: Rewards, Punishments, and Cooperation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 893-902, June.
    14. Xiao, Erte & Houser, Daniel, 2011. "Punish in public," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 1006-1017, August.
    15. Ernst Fehr & Bettina Rockenbach, 2003. "Detrimental effects of sanctions on human altruism," Nature, Nature, vol. 422(6928), pages 137-140, March.
    16. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gächter, 2002. "Altruistic punishment in humans," Nature, Nature, vol. 415(6868), pages 137-140, January.
    17. Herold, Florian, 2010. "Contractual incompleteness as a signal of trust," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 180-191, January.
    18. Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. repec:awi:wpaper:0450 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Dirk Sliwka, 2007. "Trust as a Signal of a Social Norm and the Hidden Costs of Incentive Schemes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 999-1012, June.
    21. Edward P. Lazear, 2000. "Performance Pay and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1346-1361, December.
    22. Andrea Ichino & Regina T. Riphahn, 2005. "The Effect of Employment Protection on Worker Effort: Absenteeism During and After Probation," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(1), pages 120-143, March.
    23. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
    24. David Dickinson & Marie Claire Villeval, 2008. "Does Monitoring Decrease Work Effort?," Post-Print halshs-00276284, HAL.
    25. Michael Kosfeld & Armin Falk, 2006. "The Hidden Costs of Control," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1611-1630, December.
    26. Houser, Daniel & Xiao, Erte & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon, 2008. "When punishment fails: Research on sanctions, intentions and non-cooperation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 509-532, March.
    27. Offerman, Theo, 2002. "Hurting hurts more than helping helps," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(8), pages 1423-1437, September.
    28. Uri Gneezy, 2003. "The W effect of incentives," Levine's Bibliography 666156000000000315, UCLA Department of Economics.
    29. Frey, Bruno S, 1993. "Does Monitoring Increase Work Effort? The Rivalry with Trust and Loyalty," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(4), pages 663-670, October.
    30. Matteo Ploner & Katrin Schmelz & Anthony Ziegelmeyer, 2010. "Hidden Costs of Control: Three Repetitions and an Extension," Jena Economics Research Papers 2010-007, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    31. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Akbaş, Merve & Ariely, Dan & Yuksel, Sevgi, 2019. "When is inequality fair? An experiment on the effect of procedural justice and agency," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 161(C), pages 114-127.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Samuel Bowles & Sandra Polania-Reyes, 2011. "Economic incentives and social preferences: substitutes or complements?," Department of Economics University of Siena 617, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    2. Samuel Bowles & Sandra Polanía Reyes, 2009. "Economic Incentives and Social Preferences: A Preference-based Lucas Critique of Public Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 2734, CESifo.
    3. Kajackaite, Agne & Werner, Peter, 2015. "The incentive effects of performance requirements – A real effort experiment," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 84-94.
    4. Samuel Bowles & Sandra Polanía Reyes, 2009. "Economic Incentives and Social Preferences: A preference-Based Lucas Critique of Public Policy," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2009-11, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
    5. Xiao, Erte, 2013. "Profit-seeking punishment corrupts norm obedience," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 321-344.
    6. Masella, Paolo & Meier, Stephan & Zahn, Philipp, 2014. "Incentives and group identity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 12-25.
    7. Carpenter, Jeffrey & Dolifka, David, 2017. "Exploitation aversion: When financial incentives fail to motivate agents," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 213-224.
    8. Erte Xiao & Howard Kunreuther, 2016. "Punishment and Cooperation in Stochastic Social Dilemmas," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 60(4), pages 670-693, June.
    9. Thomas A. Rietz & Eric Schniter & Roman M. Sheremeta & Timothy W. Shields, 2018. "Trust, Reciprocity, And Rules," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 56(3), pages 1526-1542, July.
    10. Riener, Gerhard & Wiederhold, Simon, 2016. "Team building and hidden costs of control," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 1-18.
    11. Calabuig, Vicente & Fatas, Enrique & Olcina, Gonzalo & Rodriguez-Lara, Ismael, 2016. "Carry a big stick, or no stick at all," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 153-171.
    12. Charness, Gary & Kuhn, Peter, 2011. "Lab Labor: What Can Labor Economists Learn from the Lab?," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 3, pages 229-330, Elsevier.
    13. Simon Gaechter & Esther Kessler & Manfred Koenigstein, 2011. "The roles of incentives and voluntary cooperation for contractual compliance," Discussion Papers 2011-06, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    14. Brice Corgnet & Roberto Hernán-González, 2011. "Don't Ask Me If You Will Not Listen: The Dilemma of Participative Decision Making," Working Papers 11-04, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    15. Jared Rubin & Anya Samek & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2016. "Incentivizing Quantity and Quality of Output: An Experimental Investigation of the Quantity-Quality Trade-off," Working Papers 16-01, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    16. Andreas Fuster & Stephan Meier, 2010. "Another Hidden Cost of Incentives: The Detrimental Effect on Norm Enforcement," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(1), pages 57-70, January.
    17. Isaac Mbiti & Danila Serra, 2022. "Health workers’ behavior, patient reporting and reputational concerns: lab-in-the-field experimental evidence from Kenya," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 25(2), pages 514-556, April.
    18. Anthony Ziegelmeyer & Katrin Schmelz & Matteo Ploner, 2012. "Hidden costs of control: four repetitions and an extension," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 15(2), pages 323-340, June.
    19. Simon Gächter & Esther Kaiser & Manfred Königstein, 2024. "Incentive contracts crowd out voluntary cooperation: Evidence from gift-exchange experiments," Discussion Papers 2024-02, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    20. Xiaofei Pan & Daniel Houser, 2017. "Social approval, competition and cooperation," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 20(2), pages 309-332, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intrinsic Motivation; Monetary Incentives; Job Performance;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2010-013. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Markus Pasche (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.jenecon.de .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.