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Incentives, Favoritism and State Employee Performance: Evidence from a Larg...

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IAS 4042, HKUST

Lo Ka Chung Building, Lee Shau Kee Campus

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Clear Water Bay, Kowloon

Hong Kong

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Further updates about this event can be found at http://iems.ust.hk/Guojun

This academic seminar is co-organized with the Division of Social Science, HKUST.

Abstract

State employees are difficult to incentivize because of the multiplicity nature of their tasks and inherent problems of observability. Governments around the world rely on superiors' subjective evaluations for assessing subordinates' performances. However, subjective evaluation often distorts the incentive structure and leads to favoritism and influence activities. Using a large-scale field experiment, we show that introducing uncertainty in who evaluates state employees’ performances reduces influence activities and improves overall performance. In contrast, encouraging superiors to provide mid-term feedbacks to subordinates do not have any detectable impacts on subordinates’ performances.

About the Speaker

Guojun He is an economist working on environmental, health and development issues. He is an assistant professor appointed jointly at Division of Social Science, Division of Environment and Sustainability, and Department of Economics at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST, 2014–now). He is also faculty associate of the HKUST Institute for Emerging Market Studies and Institute for Public Policy. Prof He holds concurrent appointment at the University of Chicago's interdisciplinary Energy Policy Institute (2018-now) and serves as the research director of its China center (EPIC-China). In 2018, Prof He is a selected as a fellow of the World Economic Forum Young Scientists Community.

Prof He's research focuses on the interactions between environment, development and health in China. His scholarly work has won him multiple academic awards, including the Best Paper Award from China Health Policy and Management Society (2016), Masahiko Aoki Best Paper Award Nomination (2017), and notably two Gregory Chow Best Paper Awards from the Chinese Economists Society (2015 and 2018).

​Before joining HKUST, Prof He was a post-doctoral research fellow at Harvard School of Public Health(2013–2014) and obtained his Ph.D. degree in Agricultural and Resource Economics from U.C. Berkeley (2008–2013). He received undergraduate education from School of Economics at Peking University (2004–2008).


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Date and Time

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IAS 4042, HKUST

Lo Ka Chung Building, Lee Shau Kee Campus

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Clear Water Bay, Kowloon

Hong Kong

View Map

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