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Awards At Work

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Executive Summary

Awards - widespread in the corporate sector and elsewhere - are motivators that derive their value from non-pecuniary concerns such as status and self-image. Quasi-experimental panel data from the call center of a large international bank allow the authors to estimate the causal impact on effort when receiving an award. The performance of winners proves to be significantly higher than that of comparable non-recipients after the award has been presented. This increase in work effort is sizeable and robust. They investigate the various theories that could explain the change in behavior.

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