The Determinants of Individual Performance: Empirical Essays on the Importance of Soft Skills and Monetary Incentives

Rattini, Veronica (2017) The Determinants of Individual Performance: Empirical Essays on the Importance of Soft Skills and Monetary Incentives, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Economia, 29 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/7867.
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This dissertation consists of three papers. The first paper "Managing the Workload: an Experiment on Individual Decision Making and Performance" experimentally investigates how decision-making in workload management affects individual performance. I designed a laboratory experiment in order to exogenously manipulate the schedule of work faced by each subject and to identify its impact on final performance. Through the mouse click-tracking technique, I also collected interesting behavioral measures on organizational skills. I found that a non-negligible share of individuals performs better under externally imposed schedules than in the unconstrained case. However, such constraints are detrimental for those good in self-organizing. The second chapter, "On the allocation of effort with multiple tasks and piecewise monotonic hazard function", tests the optimality of a scheduling model, proposed in a different literature, for the decisional problem faced in the experiment. Under specific assumptions, I find that such model identifies what would be the optimal scheduling of the tasks in the Admission Test. The third paper "The Effects of Scholarships and Tuition Fees Discounts on Students' Performances: Which Monetary Incentives work Better?" explores how different levels of monetary incentives affect the achievement of students in tertiary education. I used a Regression Discontinuity Design to exploit the assignment of different monetary incentives, to study the effects of such liquidity provision on performance outcomes, ceteris paribus. The results show that a monetary increase in the scholarships generates no effect on performance since the achievements of the recipients are all centered near the requirements for non-returning the benefit. Secondly, students, who are actually paying some share of the total cost of college attendance, surprisingly, perform better than those whose cost is completely subsidized. A lower benefit, relatively to a higher aid, it motivates students to finish early and not to suffer the extra cost of a delayed graduation.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Rattini, Veronica
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Individual decision making, Performance, Soft Skills, Mouse-Tracking, Workload, Multi-armed bandits, Laboratory Experiment, Scheduling, Admission Test, Tertiary Education, High-School, Human Capital, Monetary Incentives, Regression Discontinuity Design, Academic Achievement
Data di discussione
29 Maggio 2017

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