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Non-Financial Incentives, Selectivity and Performance of Volunteers: Evidence From a Large Scale Natural Field Experiment

October 26, 2017

DECRG Kuala Lumpur Seminar Series

  • We embed a randomized controlled experiment in BRAC’s existing volunteer tutor (Chhatrabandhu) program in Bangladesh to examine the effects of non-financial incentives on tutors’ retention rates and performance. The experiment involves nearly 500 secondary schools and 4200 volunteer tutors. We demonstrate that offering performance-contingent public-recognition award leads to higher dropout rates and poorer performance, particularly among volunteers with high other-regarding and low teaching-career motive for volunteering. Nevertheless, the treatment improves the performance of volunteers with low other-regarding motive for volunteering. When individuals can self-select into an incentive scheme, its motivation crowding-in effect may counteract its motivation crowding-out effect on performance. The overall performance effect of non-financial incentives depends crucially on the composition of the types of workers who self-select into an organization.

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  • Choon Wang

    Senior Lecturer, Department of Economics, Monash University, Australia

    Choon Wang is a senior lecturer in the Department of Economics at Monash University, Australia. Choon obtained his PhD in Economics from the University of California San Diego. Before joining Monash University, Choon worked at the World Bank's Development Research Group in Washington DC. Choon is interested in a wide range of topics in the areas of the economics of education, labour economics, development economics, public economics, and health economics. His research has been published in international refereed journals, including Management Science, Review of Economics and Statistics, Population and Development Review, Sociology, Journal of Comparative Economics, Journal of Population Economics, and Economics of Education Review.


  • WHEN: Thursday, October 26, 2017; 12:30-2:00PM
  • WHERE: World Bank Malaysia Office, Level 3, Sasana Kijang, No. 2, Jalan Dato’ Onn
  • RSVP: Kindly RSVP by Wednesday, October 25, 2017