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Title: Self-worth versus net worth: Image motivation and the quantity-quality trade-off

Author(s): Michelle Brock

Publication Date: August 2017

Keyword(s): intrinsic incentives, judges, professionalism, real-effort task, Self-image and Tajikistan

Programme Area(s): Development Economics

Abstract: Self-image concerns can motivate behaviour over which it is difficult to contract. We investigate how self-image concerns impact the quantity-quality trade-off of professionals, independent of external reputation. To do so, we use a framed field experiment with judges. The experiment measures the effect of self-image concerns compared to that of a bonus and to that of combing both incentives. We find that while both incentives increase the quantity of work, bonuses generate much worse quality. Subjects are less willing to engage in opportunistic behaviour to earn the bonus, however, if a peer might see their work, albeit anonymously.

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Bibliographic Reference

Brock, M. 2017. 'Self-worth versus net worth: Image motivation and the quantity-quality trade-off'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research. http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=12208