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The provision of relative performance feedback information: An experimental analysis of performance and happiness

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  • Ghazala Azmat
  • Nagore Iriberri

Abstract

This paper studies the effect of providing relative performance feedback information on individual performance and on individual affective response, when agents are rewarded according to their absolute performance. In a laboratory set-up, agents perform a real effort task and when receiving feedback, they are asked to rate their happiness, arousal and feeling of dominance. Control subjects learn only their absolute performance, while the treated subjects additionally learn the average performance in the session. Performance is 17 percent higher when relative performance feedback is provided. Furthermore, although feedback increases the performance independent of the content (i.e., performing above or below the average), the content is determinant for the affective response. When subjects are treated, the inequality in the happiness and the feeling of dominance between those subjects performing above and below the average increases by 8 and 6 percentage points, respectively.

Suggested Citation

  • Ghazala Azmat & Nagore Iriberri, 2010. "The provision of relative performance feedback information: An experimental analysis of performance and happiness," Economics Working Papers 1216, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1216
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Zafer Akýn & Emin Karagözoðlu, 2015. "The Role of Goals and Feedback in Incentivizing Performance," IPEK Working Papers 1506, Ipek University, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2015.
    2. Lingqing Jiang, 2016. "Splash with A teammate: Peer Effects in High-Stakes Tournaments," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 16.18, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
    3. Berlin, Noémi & Dargnies, Marie-Pierre, 2016. "Gender differences in reactions to feedback and willingness to compete," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 320-336.
    4. 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).
    5. Ertac, Seda & Koçkesen, Levent & Ozdemir, Duygu, 2016. "The role of verifiability and privacy in the strategic provision of performance feedback: Theory and experimental evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 24-45.
    6. Stephen Eliot Hansen, 2010. "The Benefits of Limited Feedback in Organizations," Working Papers 490, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    relative performance; piece-rate; feedback; social comparison; happiness.; leex;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects
    • C30 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - General

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