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Three Essays on Non-Monetary Incentives and Employee Compensation


Scholars in strategy, organizational behavior, and economics have shown increasing interest in the link between non-monetary, extrinsic incentives and employee productivity. However, nearly all of this research examines rewards that have some kind of social recognition mechanism. In the first chapter of my dissertation, I examine the awarding of private, non-monetary badges for hitting performance targets. On Amazon Mechanical Turk, workers receiving this type of badge upon hitting a performance threshold are approximately 9.4 percent more productive than workers in the control group. Interestingly, this increase in productivity was almost the exact same as giving workers hitting the threshold a 20 percent bonus in pay.

The second chapter of my dissertation presents the analysis of an actual incentive scheme that has a unique characteristic: it combines both symbolic and pecuniary incentives under the same platform. By examining the results of this real-life application, I can estimate the extent to which workers respond to an actual application of gamification and how its impact varies over time.

Understanding the determinants of value captured by different stakeholders is a key issue for both practitioners and scholars in strategic management. The final chapter of my dissertation presents a study on variations in worker compensation in the copper mining industry. Our results show that there is a positive effect of copper price on workers' compensation, but this effect is moderated by the characteristics of labor regulation in each country.

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