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Publication - Dr Erlend Berg

    Motivating knowledge agents

    Can incentive pay overcome social distance?


    Berg, E, Ghatak, M, Manjula, R, Rajasekhar, D & Roy, S, 2017, ‘Motivating knowledge agents: Can incentive pay overcome social distance?’. Economic Journal.


    This paper studies the interaction of incentive pay with intrinsic
    motivation and social distance. We analyse theoretically as well as
    empirically the effect of incentive pay when agents have pro-social
    objectives, but also preferences over dealing with one social group relative
    to another. In a randomised field experiment undertaken across 151 villages
    in South India, local agents were hired to spread information about a public
    health insurance programme. In the absence of incentive pay, social distance
    impedes the flow of information. Incentive pay increases overall agent
    effort and appears to cancel the negative effects of social distance.

    Full details in the University publications repository