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Awards at work

  • Neckermann, Susanne
  • Cueni, Reto
  • Frey, Bruno S.

Social incentives like employee awards are widespread in the corporate sector and may be important instruments for solving agency problems. To date, we have little understanding of their effect on behavior. Unique panel data from the call center of a Fortune 500 financial services provider allow us to estimate the impact of awards on performance. Winning an award for voluntary work behaviors significantly increases subsequent core call center performance. The effect is short-lived, mainly driven by underperforming agents, and is reflected mostly in dimensions of the job that are hard to observe.We discuss various theories that could explain the effect.

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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 12-004.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:12004
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  1. Susanne Neckermann & Bruno S. Frey, 2008. "Awards as Incentives," IEW - Working Papers 334, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  2. Ulrike Malmendier & Geoffrey Tate, 2008. "Superstar CEOs," NBER Working Papers 14140, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2008. "Status Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 206-11, May.
  9. Sebastian Kube & Michel André Maréchal & Clemens Puppe, 2010. "The currency of reciprocity - gift-exchange in the workplace," IEW - Working Papers 377, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich, revised Aug 2011.
  10. Robert Dur, 2009. "Gift Exchange in The Workplace: Money or Attention?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 550-560, 04-05.
  11. Auriol, Emmanuelle & Renault, Régis, 2007. "Status and Incentives," IDEI Working Papers 451, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  12. Florian S. Peters & Alexander F. Wagner, 2014. "The Executive Turnover Risk Premium," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 69(4), pages 1529-1563, 08.
  13. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  14. A. Craig MacKinlay, 1997. "Event Studies in Economics and Finance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 13-39, March.
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  16. Benny Moldovanu & Aner Sela & Xianwen Shi, 2007. "Contests for Status," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 338-363.
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  18. repec:spr:compst:v:61:y:2005:i:1:p:1-22 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Michael Greenstone & Enrico Moretti, 2003. "Bidding for Industrial Plants: Does Winning a 'Million Dollar Plant' Increase Welfare?," NBER Working Papers 9844, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. repec:dgr:uvatin:20080082 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. Alchian, Armen A & Demsetz, Harold, 1972. "Production , Information Costs, and Economic Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 777-95, December.
  22. C. Gavrila & J.P. Caulkins & G. Feichtinger & G. Tragler & R.F. Hartl, 2005. "Managing the reputation of an award to motivate performance," Mathematical Methods of Operations Research, Springer, vol. 61(1), pages 1-22, 03.
  23. Robert Dur, 2008. "Gift Exchange in the Workplace," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 08-082/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  24. Casey Ichniowski & Kathryn Shaw, 2003. "Beyond Incentive Pay: Insiders' Estimates of the Value of Complementary Human Resource Management Practices," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 155-180, Winter.
  25. Kiefer, Nicholas M., 1980. "Estimation of fixed effect models for time series of cross-sections with arbitrary intertemporal covariance," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 195-202, October.
  26. Anton Suvorov & Jeroen van de Ven, 2006. "Discretionary Bonuses as a Feedback Mechanism," Working Papers w0088, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  27. John C. Driscoll & Aart C. Kraay, 1998. "Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimation With Spatially Dependent Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(4), pages 549-560, November.
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