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STICERD Work in Progress Seminars

Recruiting Workers Under Framed Incentives: An Online Labor Market Experiment

Jon de Quidt (STICERD, LSE)

Friday 05 July 2013 13:00 - 14:00

Many of our seminars and public events this year will continue as in person or as hybrid (online and in person) events. Please check our website listings and Twitter feed @STICERD_LSE for updates.

Unless otherwise specified, in-person seminars are open to the public.

Those unable to join the seminars in-person are welcome to participate via zoom if the event is hybrid.

About this event

Theory and experimental evidence from both the lab and field suggest that penalty-framed incentives-where a contract is presented in terms of a penalty for failure rather than a bonus for success-can have positive effects on agents' effort. This is a puzzle as such contracts are rarely observed in practice. However all evidence thus far comes from already-recruited workers or lab subjects; we know nothing about what happens when such contracts are offered at the recruitment stage. In this paper I present the first evidence on how offering such contracts affects the selection of workers into jobs, as well as their subsequent performance on the job. If anything, the puzzle deepens. Workers offered a penalty-framed incentive are significantly more likely to accept the job offer, and perform significantly better on the job. Both effects are large in magnitude. In addition, I find no evidence of adverse (or advantageous) selection into penalty contracts.

STICERD Work in Progress seminars are held on Fridays in term time at 13:00-14:00, ONLINE, unless specified otherwise.

Seminar organisers: Philip Barteska and Alix Bonargent

For further information please contact Lubala Chibwe, either by email:

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