Team incentives and performance: Evidence from a retail chain
In a field experiment with a retail chain (1,300 employees, 193 shops), randomly selected sales teams received a bonus. The bonus increases both sales and number of customers dealt with by 3 percent. Each dollar spent on the bonus generates $3.80 in sales,
and $2.10 in profit. Wages increase by 2.2 percent while inequality rises only moderately. The analysis suggests effort complementarities to be important, and the effectiveness of peer pressure in overcoming free-riding to be limited. After rolling out the bonus, treatment and control shops’ performance converge, suggesting long-term stability of the treatment effect.
Friebel, G, Heinz, M., Krueger, M. & Zubanov, N. (forthcoming). Team incentives and performance: Evidence from a retail chain. American Economic review.