Peer Pressure, Incentives, and Gender: An Experimental Analysis of Motivation in the Workplace

26 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2009

See all articles by Charles Bellemare

Charles Bellemare

Université Laval - Département d'Économique; Centre Interuniversitaire sur le Risque, les Politiques Economiques et l'Emploi (CIRPÉE); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Patrick Lepage

Université Laval

Bruce Shearer

Université Laval - Département d'Économique; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

We present results from a real-effort experiment, simulating actual work-place conditions, comparing the productivity of workers under fixed wages and piece rates. Workers, who were paid to enter data, were exposed to different degrees of peer pressure under both payment systems. The peer pressure was generated in the form of private information about the productivity of their peers. We have two main results. First, we find no level of peer pressure for which the productivity of either male or female workers is significantly higher than productivity without peer pressure. Second, we find that very low and very high levels of peer pressure can significantly decrease productivity (particularly for men paid fixed wages). These results are consistent with models of conformism and self-motivation.

Keywords: peer effects, fixed wages, piece rates, gender

JEL Classification: M52, C91

Suggested Citation

Bellemare, Charles and Lepage, Patrick and Shearer, Bruce, Peer Pressure, Incentives, and Gender: An Experimental Analysis of Motivation in the Workplace. IZA Discussion Paper No. 3948, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1332589

Charles Bellemare (Contact Author)

Université Laval - Département d'Économique ( email )

2325 Rue de l'Université
Ste-Foy, Quebec G1K 7P4 G1K 7P4
Canada

Centre Interuniversitaire sur le Risque, les Politiques Economiques et l'Emploi (CIRPÉE)

Pavillon De Sève
Ste-Foy, Quebec G1K 7P4
Canada

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Patrick Lepage

Université Laval ( email )

2214 Pavillon J-A. DeSeve
Quebec, Quebec G1K 7P4
Canada

Bruce Shearer

Université Laval - Département d'Économique ( email )

2325 Rue de l'Université
Ste-Foy, Quebec G1K 7P4 G1K 7P4
Canada
418-656-2131 (Phone)
418-656-7798 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
230
Abstract Views
1,474
rank
145,603
PlumX Metrics