Adverse Effects of Control: Evidence from a Field Experiment

61 Pages Posted: 19 Feb 2021

See all articles by Holger Herz

Holger Herz

University of Fribourg - Department of Economics

Christian Zihlmann

University of Fribourg

Date Written: 2021

Abstract

We conduct a field experiment with remote workers to causally assess the impact of introducing a control mechanism on performance, and analyse the incidence of potential effects across tasks of different difficulty. We find that the implementation of control significantly reduces performance. The reduction occurs primarily among challenging tasks, whereas performance among simple tasks is unaffected. Further, the effects are primarily driven by workers with nonpecuniary motivation when uncontrolled. Our findings suggest that the relative importance of high performance among challenging tasks for employer profits can be a crucial determinant of the overall profitability of control interventions.

JEL Classification: C930, D210, J240, M500

Suggested Citation

Herz, Holger and Zihlmann, Christian, Adverse Effects of Control: Evidence from a Field Experiment (2021). CESifo Working Paper No. 8890, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3788710 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3788710

Holger Herz (Contact Author)

University of Fribourg - Department of Economics ( email )

Fribourg
Switzerland

Christian Zihlmann

University of Fribourg ( email )

Avenue de l'Europe 20
CH-1700 Fribourg
Switzerland

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