Social Connections and Financial Incentives: A Quasi Field Experiment in India’s Manufacturing Sector

  • 7 Mar 2018

    17:00-18:30, Clay Room, Nuffield College

  • Sociology Seminar   Add to Calendar
Speaker: Amrita Dhillon

King’s College London

This event is part of the Sociology Seminar Series.

Production processes are often organised in teams, yet there is limited evidence on whether and how social connections and financial incentives affect workers’ and teams’ productivity in tasks that require coordination among co-workers. We conduct a lab-in-the-field experiment in India’s manufacturing industry in which workers exert real effort in a minimum-effort coordination game in teams whose members are either socially connected or unconnected, based on their caste, and are paid according to the group output. We find that workers are able to coordinate on higher  output levels if they are socially connected with their co-workers.    In addition, we find that increasing the power of financial incentives does not reduce the positive effect of social connections- to the contrary, we find that workers respond more  to high powered incentives, such as a group based bonus  when they work with co-workers with whom they are socially connected,  relative to when when they are uinconnected  and as opposed to bonus framed as a loss. Overall, our results underline the importance of social connections with co-workers in determining productivity in the work place.

The Sociology Seminar Series is convened by John Ermisch and Federico VareseFor more information about this or any of the seminars in the series, please contact