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Awards unbundled: evidence from a natural field experiment

Ashraf, Nava and Lee, Scott and Bandiera, Oriana (2013) Awards unbundled: evidence from a natural field experiment. Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers, The London School of Economics and Political Science, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, London, UK.

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Identification Number: EOPP 046

Abstract

Organizations often use awards to incentivize performance. We design a field experiment to unbundle the mechanisms through which awards may affect behavior: by facilitating social comparison and by conferring recognition and visibility. In a nationwide health worker training program in Zambia, employer recognition and social visibility increase performance while social comparison reduces it, especially for low-ability trainees. These effects appear when treatments are announced and persist through training. The findings are consistent with a model of optimal expectations in which low-ability individuals exert low effort in order to avoid information about their relative ability.

Item Type: Monograph (Report)
Official URL: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/
Additional Information: © 2013 The Authors
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Sets: Departments > Economics
Research centres and groups > Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines (STICERD)
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2014 08:09
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2014 09:04
Funders: International Growth Centre
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/58029

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