SBEE Lecture Series: Stephan Meier
Ehrlicher Room, 3100 North Quad
The Social, Behavioral and Experimental Economics lecture series is sponsored by the School of Information, the Ross School of Business and the Department of Economics. Speakers from U.S. and international universities present their research at weekly seminars during the 2018-2019 academic year.
Intentions for Doing Good Matter for Doing Well: The (Negative) Signaling Value of Prosocial Incentives
Many firms consider prosocial initiatives to be an effective tool to motivate workers. However, despite some initial supportive evidence, little is known about when and how prosocial incentives work. Our field experiment shows that the instrumental use of prosocial incentives to increase effort can backfire. The negative effect is particularly strong for performance-based prosocial incentives, which are, by construction, more instrumental than unconditional incentives, and for non-prosocial workers, who do not care to support the cause. These findings highlight some serious limitations of prosocial incentives: firms' perceived intentions and the pool of employees will be crucial for their effectiveness.
The talk will begin at 11:45 am and end at 12:45 pm.