Motivating Knowledge Agents: Can Incentive Pay Overcome Social Distance?

47 Pages Posted: 17 May 2013

See all articles by Erlend Berg

Erlend Berg

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Maitreesh Ghatak

London School of Economics (LSE) - Department of Economics

R. Manjula

Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC)

D. Rajasekhar

Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC)

Sanchari Roy

University of Sussex

Date Written: May 2013

Abstract

This paper studies the interaction of incentive pay and social distance in the dissemination of information. 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. Relative to flat pay, incentive pay improves knowledge transmission to households that are socially distant from the agent, but not to households similar to the agent.

Keywords: incentive pay, information constraints, knowledge transmission, public services, social proximity

JEL Classification: C93, D83, I38, M52, O15, Z13

Suggested Citation

Berg, Erlend and Ghatak, Maitreesh and Manjula, R. and Rajasekhar, D. and Roy, Sanchari, Motivating Knowledge Agents: Can Incentive Pay Overcome Social Distance? (May 2013). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP9477, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2266288

Erlend Berg (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Maitreesh Ghatak

London School of Economics (LSE) - Department of Economics ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
44 20 7852 3568 (Phone)
44 20 7955 6951 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/dps/adds/ghatak/cv-lse-sept02.pdf

R. Manjula

Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC) ( email )

Nagarbhavi PO
Bangalore, 560072
India

D. Rajasekhar

Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC) ( email )

Nagarbhavi PO
Bangalore, 560072
India

Sanchari Roy

University of Sussex ( email )

Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9SL
United Kingdom

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