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The Effect of Incentives in Non-Routine Analytical Team Tasks – Evidence from a Field Experiment

Author

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  • Englmaier, Florian
  • Grimm, Stefan
  • Schindler, David
  • Schudy, Simeon

Abstract

Despite the prevalence of non-routine analytical team tasks in modern economies, little is known about how incentives influence performance in these tasks. In a field experiment with more than 3000 participants, we document a positive effect of bonus incentives on the probability of completion of such a task. Bonus incentives increase performance due to the reward rather than the reference point (performance threshold) they provide. The framing of bonuses (as gains or losses) plays a minor role. Incentives improve performance also in an additional sample of presumably less motivated workers. However, incentives reduce these workers’ willingness to “explore” original solutions.

Suggested Citation

  • Englmaier, Florian & Grimm, Stefan & Schindler, David & Schudy, Simeon, 2018. "The Effect of Incentives in Non-Routine Analytical Team Tasks – Evidence from a Field Experiment," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168286, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc17:168286
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    team work; bonus; incentives; loss; gain; non-routine; exploration;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

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