Incentives for Public Goods Inside Organizations: Field Experimental Evidence

We report results of a natural field experiment conducted at a medical organization that sought contribution of public goods (i.e., projects for organizational improvement) from its 1200 employees. Offering a prize for winning submissions boosted participation by 85 percent without affecting the quality of the submissions. The effect was consistent across gender and job type. We posit that the allure of a prize, in combination with mission-oriented preferences, drove participation. Using a simple model, we estimate that these preferences explain about a third of the magnitude of the effect. We also find that these results were sensitive to the solicited person’s gender.

Policy implications 
In the context of a contest taking submissions to improve an organisation, offering an incentive (a prize for winning submissions) increase the quantity of submissions without decreasing their quality.
Blasco, A., Jung, O., Lakhani, K.R., Menietti, M. (2017). 'Incentives for Public Goods Inside Organizations: Field Experimental Evidence'. Working paper.