Teams or Tournaments? A Field Experiment on Cooperation and Competition in Academic Achievement

Quaderni DSE Working Paper No. 752

48 Pages Posted: 30 May 2011 Last revised: 10 Sep 2014

Maria Bigoni

University of Bologna - Department of Economics

Margherita Fort

University of Bologna

Mattia Nardotto

University of Cologne - Department of Economics

Tommaso Reggiani

LUMSA University

Date Written: May 23, 2011

Abstract

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.

Keywords: education, field experiments, incentives, competition, cooperation

JEL Classification: A22, C93, I20

Suggested Citation

Bigoni, Maria and Fort, Margherita and Nardotto, Mattia and Reggiani, Tommaso, Teams or Tournaments? A Field Experiment on Cooperation and Competition in Academic Achievement (May 23, 2011). Quaderni DSE Working Paper No. 752. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1854133 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1854133

Maria Bigoni (Contact Author)

University of Bologna - Department of Economics ( email )

Piazza Scaravilli 2
Bologna, Bologna 40126
Italy
+390512098134 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.unibo.it/sitoweb/maria.bigoni/en

Margherita Fort

University of Bologna ( email )

Piazza Scaravilli 2
Bologna, 40100
Italy

Mattia Nardotto

University of Cologne - Department of Economics ( email )

Albertus-Magnus-Platz
Cologne, 50923
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/mattianardotto/Home

Tommaso Reggiani

LUMSA University ( email )

Via della Traspontina
Roma, Rome 00192
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/tommasoreggiani/

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