Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/121359
Authors: 
Englmaier, Florian
Roider, Andreas
Sunde, Uwe
Year of Publication: 
2015
Series/Report no.: 
SFB/TR 15 Discussion Paper 507
Abstract: 
In corporate practice, incentive schemes are often complicated even for simple tasks. Hence, the way they are communicated might matter. In a controlled field experiment, we study a minimally invasive change in the communication of a well-established incentive scheme - a reminder regarding the piece rate at the beginning of the shift. The experiment was conducted in a large firm where experienced managers work in a team production setting and where incentives for both quantity and quality of output are provided. While the treatment conveyed no additional material information and left the incentive system unchanged, it had significant positive effects on quantity and on managers' compensation. These effects are economically sizable and robust to alternative empirical specifications. We consider various potential mechanisms, where our preferred explanation - improved salience of incentives - is consistent with all of the findings.
Subjects: 
incentives
attention
salience
communication
field experiment
JEL: 
M52
J30
D03
D80
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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