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Personality Traits and Performance Contracts: Evidence from a Field Experiment among Maternity Care Providers in India
Journal Article

Published By

American Economic Review

March 2017

We study how agents respond to performance incentives according to key personality traits (conscientiousness and neuroticism) through a field experiment offering financial incentives for improving maternal and neonatal health outcomes to rural Indian doctors. More conscientious providers performed better – but improved less – under performance incentives.  The effect of the performance incentives was also smaller for providers with higher levels of neuroticism. Our results contribute to a growing body of empirical research on heterogeneous responses to incentives and have implications for worker selection.

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