Teams or Tournaments? A Field Experiment on Cooperation and Competition in Academic Achievement
University of Bologna - Department of Economics
University of Bologna
University of Cologne - Department of Economics
May 23, 2011
Quaderni DSE Working Paper No. 752
This paper assesses the effect of two stylized and antithetic non-monetary incentive schemes on students’ effort. We collect data from a field experiment where incentives are exogenously imposed, performance is monitored and individual characteristics are observed. Students are randomly assigned to a tournament scheme that fosters competition between coupled students, a cooperative scheme that promotes information sharing and collaboration between students and a control treatment in which students can neither compete, nor cooperate. In line with theoretical predictions, we find that competition induces higher effort with respect to cooperation and cooperation does not increase effort with respect to the baseline. However, this is true only for men, while women do not seem to react to non-monetary incentives.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 48
Keywords: education, field experiments, incentives, competition, cooperation
JEL Classification: A22, C93, I20
Date posted: May 30, 2011 ; Last revised: September 10, 2014
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