Media and Motivation:
The Effect of Performance Pay on Writers and Content
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
La Follette House Conference Room, 1225 Observatory Dr.
La Follette School faculty member Emilia Tjernstrom and colleagues studied how incentives for journalists affect the quantity, quality, and composition of online media content. Writers for an online news company in Kenya were randomly allocated to earn a piece-rate per article published or a pay-per-view (PPV) contract. The study suggests that output-based incentive contracts have substantial implications for journalists’ effort and content choices, and more broadly for selecting risky work.