Competition and prosociality: A field experiment in Ghana

Competitive bonuses are commonly used to promote higher productivity in the workplace. Yet, these types of incentives could have negative spillovers on coworkers' prosocial behavior in subsequent tasks. To investigate this question, we conduct a lab-in-the-eld experiment in Ghana. In a between-subjects design, participants complete a real-eort task under a competitive, threshold, or random payment while holding payment dierentials constant across treatments. Before and after, we measure prosociality through a public goods and a social value orientation game. Competition reduces prosociality when the dispersion of payments is high. However, when there is less at stake, competition does not aect prosociality.

Issue Date:
Dec 19 2017
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
DOI and Other Identifiers:
Record Identifier:
JEL Codes:
C93; D03; J33
Series Statement:
GlobalFood Discussion Papers No. 113

 Record created 2017-12-19, last modified 2020-10-28

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