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From Me to We: Beating Procrastination in Teams

Anujit Chakraborty and Guidon Fenig

No 350, Working Papers from University of California, Davis, Department of Economics

Abstract: Can team incentives increase worker's productivity and decrease procrastination in intertemporal tasks? We recruited just under 600 online workers to engage in tedious tasks over three days. They were randomly assigned to either individualistic (Solo) incentives or to one of two team-based incentives (Cooperative and Competitive). Contrary to theoretical predictions, workers under Cooperative incentives surpassed the performance of those working under either Solo or Competitive incentives. Productivity on Day 1, which in theory should inversely relate to procrastination, was also significantly higher in both team treatments. Our structural analysis confirms that teams increase productivity by enhancing intrinsic motivation and by reducing the tendency to delay work. Finally, teams increase productivity further under Competitive incentives, when workers can observe and react to the efforts of their team members.

JEL-codes: C72 C9 C92 D9 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 30
Date: 2022-08-15
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cta, nep-exp, nep-hrm, nep-lma and nep-spo
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