NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Lea Cassar

University of Cologne
Universitaetstr. 22A,
50937 Cologne
Germany

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org

NBER Working Papers and Publications

December 2017Intentions for Doing Good Matter for Doing Well: The (Negative) Signaling Value of Prosocial Incentives
with Stephan Meier: w24109
Prosocial incentives and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives are seen by many firms as an effective way to motivate workers. Recent empirical results seem to support the expectation that prosocial incentive, e.g. in the form of a charitable donations by the firm, can increase effort and motivation – sometimes even better than monetary incentives. We argue that the benefits crucially depend on the perceived intention of the firm. Workers use prosocial incentives as a signal about the firm's type and if used instrumentally in order to profit the firm, they can backfire. We show in an experiment in collaboration with an Italian firm, that monetary and prosocial incentives work very differently. While monetary incentives used instrumentally increase effort, instrumental charitabl...
March 2014The Causal Effects of Competition on Innovation: Experimental Evidence
with Philippe Aghion, Stefan Bechtold, Holger Herz: w19987
In this paper, we design two laboratory experiments to analyze the causal effects of competition on step-by-step innovation. Innovations result from costly R&D investments and move technology up one step. Competition is inversely measured by the ex post rents for firms that operate at the same technological level, i.e. for neck-and-neck firms. First, we find that increased competition leads to a significant increase in R&D investments by neck-and-neck firms. Second, increased competition decreases R&D investments by firms that are lagging behind, in particular if the time horizon is short. Third, we find that increased competition affects industry composition by reducing the fraction of sectors where firms are neck-and-neck. All these results are consistent with the predictions of step-by-...
 
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