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PhD defence of Arjan Non on Thursday 6 October 2011

On Thursday 6 October 2011 Arjan Non will defend his PhD thesis entitled 'Do ut Des: Incentives, Reciprocity, and Organizational Performance'. Supervisor is Professor Robert Dur.

Time and location

The PhD defence will take place in the Senate Hall of Erasmus University Rotterdam and will start at 13.30 hrs.

About the PhD thesis

Economists have traditionally stressed the importance of monetary incentives for employee motivation, to the exclusion of other relevant motives. One of these motives is reciprocity, meaning that people respond in kind to hostile and friendly acts. Reciprocity implies that workers are more willing to go the extra mile when they perceive their employer as generous. The first part of this thesis explores theoretically how monetary incentives influence, and are influenced by, worker reciprocity. For example, assuming workers reciprocate the kindness of their employer,

I examine the optimal combination of fixed wage and piece rates. Second, assuming workers are reciprocal towards management attention, I show that offering promotion incentives is more attractive than offering individual performance pay. Analysis of GSOEP-data reveals a strong positive relation between an individual’s reciprocity and the probability that he receives promotion incentives. The second part of this thesis presents the results of two field experiments designed to test predictions from tournament theory. Both experiments are conducted in a Dutch retail chain. The first experiment aims to test how intermediate performance feedback affects subsequent performance. The second experiment is designed to test predictions on prize spread and noise in a two-stage elimination tournament. We find evidence largely in line with these predictions.

About Arjan Non

Arjan Non was born in Ridderkerk in 1983. He started studying Economics at the Erasmus University Rotterdam in 2002. He graduated in 2006. Afterwards, he joined the Tinbergen Institute as a PhD-student at the Department of Economics at Erasmus University. Supervised by Prof. Dur, he conducted research on employer-employee relations and incentives at the workplace, which is published in this thesis. A part of this thesis (chapter 3) has been published in the Journal of Economic Psychology, chapter 2 is in revise and resubmit at Games and Economic Behavior. Apart from doing research, he taught the second-year course Personnel Economics and the Master Seminar Games, Strategy and Markets. Also, he acted as teaching assistant for the second-year courses Personnel Economics and History of Economic Thought. Currently, he just started as a post-doctoral researcher at Maastricht University & The Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA). He will work on sorting into incentive schemes under supervision of Prof. Dohmen.

See for more information:

For more information about this ceremony, please contact the Press Office of Erasmus University Rotterdam phone +31 10 408 1216, email press@remove-this.eur.nl.


Publication date: 29 September 2011