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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, EOPP 046. 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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