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For Love or Money? Motivating Workers

Author

Listed:
  • Saima Naeem

    (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad)

  • Asad Zaman

    (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad)

Abstract

We conducted a field experiment and tested how employers can use socioemotional resources, such as appreciation and recognition, in order to signal intentions and create positive reciprocal relationships with employees. Results showed that these resources led to a significant gain in productivity. The study was extended to account for relative wage concerns both with and without appreciation treatment. Efficiency gains with appreciation appeared to be robust even after including information regarding relatively disadvantageous wage discrimination. However, workers’ without socioemotional resources exhibited strong resentment toward relatively lower wages by showing a significant systematic decrease in their labour supply. Our results suggest that workers not only compare their wages, as pointed out in previous literature, but also compare the socioemotional resources provided by their employer. This provides important evidence against one-dimensional comparisons of relative wages relevant to worker productivity.

Suggested Citation

  • Saima Naeem & Asad Zaman, 2013. "For Love or Money? Motivating Workers," PIDE-Working Papers 2013:90, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pid:wpaper:2013:90
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Appreciation; Recognition; Symbolic Gift Exchange; Wage Comparisons;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • M5 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions
    • J53 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Labor-Management Relations; Industrial Jurisprudence

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