Performance-Related Pay and Health research project wins meritorious abstract award

Performance-Related Pay and Health research project wins meritorious abstract award

The three-year ESRC-funded interdisciplinary research project has received an meritorious abstract award.

“Performance Related Pay and Health” is an interdisciplinary research project in collaboration with Dr Nicole Andelic, Professor Keith Bender and Professor Ioannis Theodossiou of the University of Aberdeen Business School and Dr Daniel Powell and Dr Julia Allan of the Institute of Applied Health Sciences.

Last year the project team submitted the results of their first study, “Employment contracts and stress: An experimental study” to the 2020/21 International Congress of Behavioural Medicine. With the conference comprising of over 200 presentations this year alone the team received one of 10 meritorious abstract awards.

It is estimated that 10-15% of European workers are paid according to performance (PRP; Performance-Related Pay), a payment method which has been linked to poor health in several large surveys. However, it is not known whether PRP is the cause of poor health or if people with poor health are more likely to work in PRP jobs. A pilot study found that participants who were randomly assigned to PRP contracts in lab conditions displayed higher levels of stress than those paid a fixed fee, providing some initial evidence for PRP generating stress.

Dr Nicole Andelic the project Research Fellow commented: “We are delighted to find out that ‘Employment contracts and stress: An experimental study’ is one of the abstracts to receive an award by this year’s ICBM. It has been challenging to carry out experimental economics research in person during a pandemic, particularly so when the project includes collecting saliva, and so it is even more rewarding to find out that the project has received good feedback from peers in both economics and the health sciences.”

The paper "Employment contracts and stress: Experimental evidence" that the presentation was based on has now been published on the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, you can read more here.

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