Michael Vlassopoulos
U. of Southampton



(Wednesday, 23rd May 2012)

Title : Using Field and Lab Experiments to Understand How Incentives Shape Behavior

In this workshop we will discuss insights obtained from field and lab experiments aimed at assessing how people respond to financial and other incentives. We first focus on how effective are traditional financial incentives in solving agency problems, focusing on both incentive and selection effects that pay-for-performance schemes induce, and also the possibility that they might crowd-out intrinsic motivation. Moreover, we will discuss alternative methods to motivate workers such as non-monetary and social incentives. Beyond the role of incentives in the workplace context we will discuss evidence on the effectiveness of incentives in inducing prosocial behaviour, for instance, the provision of public goods, such as blood donations.

Bibliographical references :

Bandiera, O., Barankay, I., and I. Rasul (2011)  “Field Experiments with Firms,” Journal of Economic Perspectives, 25(3), 63-82.

Dohmen, T., and Falk, A. (2011): “Performance Pay and Multi-Dimensional Sorting: Productivity, Preferences and Gender,” American Economic Review, 101, 556-590.

Gneezy, U., Meier, S., and P. Rey-Biel (2011) “When and Why Incentives (Don’t) Work to Modify Behavior,” Journal of Economic Perspectives, 25(4), 191-210.