Iwan Barankay

Iwan Barankay
  • Associate Professor of Management
  • Associate Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    2201 SHDH
    3620 Locust Walk
    Philadelphia, PA 19104

Research Interests: political economy, behavioral economics, field experiments, personnel economics

Overview

Education

PhD, University of Warwick, 2004; MSc, University of Warwick, 1999; BSc, University of Lausanne, 1998

Recent Consulting

Workplace Incentives for a broad range of industries

Academic Positions Held

Wharton: 2008-present. Previous apointments: Essex University; University of Warwick

Professional Leadership

Research Fellow, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR)

Research Fellow, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Sloan Research Fellow (2010-2014)

Affiliated Faculty Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics at the Leonard David Institute of the University of Pennsylvania.

 

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Research

My research focuses on monetary and non-monetary incentives to shape individual level productivity both in the workplace and as a method to improve health behavior.

New: RO1 NIH $2.3m grant for a four-year randomized control trial to study financial incentives rooted in behavioral economics and how they can shape long-lasting health habits (medication adherence).




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  • Iwan Barankay, Peter P. Reese, Mary E Putt, Louise B. Russell, Caitlin Phillips, David Pagnotti, Sakshum Chadha, Kehinde O. Oyekanmi, Jiali Yan, Jingsan Zhu, Kevin G. Volpp, Justin T. Clapp (2021), Qualitative Exploration of Barriers to Statin Adherence and Lipid Control: A Secondary Analysis of a Randomized Clinical Trial, Jama Network Open, 4 (5).

  • Iwan Barankay, Peter P. Reese, Mary E Putt (2020), Effect of Patient Financial Incentives on Statin Adherence and Lipid Control: A Randomized Clinical Trial, JAMA Network Open, 3(10): e2019429.

  • Louise B. Russell, Laurie A. Norton, David Pagnotti, Christianne Sevinc, Sophia Anderson, Darra Finnerty Bigelow, Lauren G. Iannotte, Michael Josephs, Ryan McGilloway, Iwan Barankay, Mary E Putt, Peter P. Reese, David A. Asch, Lee R. Goldberg, Shivan J. Mehta, Monique S. Tanna, Andrea B. Troxel, Kevin G. Volpp (2020), Using Clinical Trial Data to Estimate the Costs of Behavioral Interventions for Potential Adopters: A Guide for Trialists, Medical Decision Making.

  • Marina Serper, Iwan Barankay, Sakshum Chadha, Justine Shults, Lauren S. Jones, Kim M. Olthoff, Peter P. Reese (2020), A randomized, controlled, behavioral intervention to promote walking after abdominal organ transplantation: results from the LIFT study, Transplant International, 33, pp. 632-643.

  • Mary E Putt, Peter P. Reese, Kevin G. Volpp, Louise B. Russell, George Loewenstein, Jiali Yan, David Pagnotti, Ryan McGilloway, Troyen Brennen, Darra Finnerty, Karen Hoffer, Sakshum Chadha, Iwan Barankay (2019), The Habit Formation trial of behavioral economic interventions to improve statin use and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease: Rationale, design and methodologies, Clinical Trials, 16 (4), pp. 399-409.

  • Andrea Contigiani, David Hsu, Iwan Barankay (2018), Trade Secrets and Innovation: Evidence from the ‘Inevitable Disclosure’ Doctrine, Strategic Management Journal, 39 (11), pp. 2921-2942.

  • Iwan Barankay (Under Revision), Rank Incentives: Evidence from a Randomized Workplace Experiment (Revise and Resubmit at Management Science).

    Abstract: Performance rankings are a very common workplace management practice. Behavioral theories suggest that providing performance rankings to employees, even without pecuniary consequences, may directly shape effort due to the rank¹s effect on self-image. In a three-year randomized control trial with full-time furniture salespeople (n=1754), I study the effect on sales performance in a two-by-two experimental design where I vary (i) whether to privately inform employees about their performance rank; and (ii) whether to give benchmarks, i.e. data on the current performance required to be in the top 10%, 25% and 50%. The salespeople¹s compensation is only based on absolute performance via a high-powered commission scheme in which rankings convey no direct additional financial benefits. There are two important innovations in this experiment. First, prior to the start of the experiment all salespeople were told their performance ranking. Second, employees operate in a multi-tasking environment where they can sell multiple brands. There are four key results: First, removing rank feedback actually increases sales performance by 11%, or 1/10th of a standard deviation. Second, only men (not women) change their performance. Third, adding benchmarks to rank feedback significantly raises performance, but it is not significantly different from providing no feedback. Fourth, as predicted by the multi-tasking model, the treatment effect increases with the scope for effort substitution across furniture brands as employees switch their effort to other tasks when their rank is worse than expected.

  • Iwan Barankay (Under Review), Rankings and Social Tournaments: Evidence from a Crowd-Sourcing Experiment.

    Abstract: People often compare their performance rank to that of others even in the absence of any direct financial benefits of rankings, as it affects their self-esteem and social status.  The question is whether these comparisons affect effort provision so that they can potentially be exploited to substitute for monetary incentives.  In this paper we present experimental evidence from a crowd-sourcing experiment (n=883) where I experimentally varied whether to give rank feedback to workers.  The context is such that rank had no implication for current or future compensation and in contrast to other studies on this topic employees could easily shift to other jobs where they would not be ranked.  Compared to a control group with no rank feedback, those employees who received feedback about their rank were less likely to return to work.  This evidence offers an important cautionary note regarding the use of rankings in the workplace:  Employees may switch to other readily available tasks to avoid being ranked.

  • Oriana Bandiera, Iwan Barankay, Imran Rasul (2012), Team Incentives: Evidence from a Firm Level Experiment, Journal of the European Economic Association, forthcoming.

    Abstract: Many organizations rely on teamwork, and yet field evidence on the impacts of team-based incentives remains scarce. Compared to individual incentives, team incentives can affect productivity by changing both workers’ effort and team composition. We present evidence from a field experiment designed to evaluate the impact of rank incentives and tournaments on the productivity and composition of teams. Strengthening incentives, either through rankings or tournaments, makes workers more likely to form teams with others of similar ability instead of with their friends. Introducing rank incentives however reduces average productivity by 14%, whereas introducing a tournament increases it by 24%. Both effects are heterogeneous: rank incentives only reduce the productivity of teams at the bottom of the productivity distribution, and monetary prize tournaments only increase the productivity of teams at the top. We interpret these results through a theoretical framework that makes precise when the provision of team-based incentives crowds out the productivity enhancing effect of social connections under team production.

  • Oriana Bandiera, Iwan Barankay, Imran Rasul (2011), Field Experiments with Firms, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 25, pp. 63-82.

Teaching

Past Courses

  • LGST806 - NEGOTIATIONS

    This course examines the art and science of negotiation, with additional emphasis on conflict resolution. Students will engage in a number of simulated negotiations ranging from simple one-issue transactions to multi-party joint ventures. Through these exercises and associated readings, students explore the basic theoretical models of bargaining and have an opportunity to test and improve their negotiation skills. Cross-listed with MGMT 691/OIDD 691/LGST 806. Format: Lecture, class discussion, simulation/role play, and video demonstrations. Materials: Textbook and course pack.

  • MGMT691 - NEGOTIATIONS

    This course examines the art and science of negotiation, with additional emphasis on conflict resolution. Students will engage in a number of simulated negotiations ranging from simple one-issue transactions to multi-party joint ventures. Through these exercises and associated readings, students explore the basic theoretical models of bargaining and have an opportunity to test and improve their negotiation skills. Cross-listed with MGMT 691/OIDD 691/LGST 806. Format: Lecture, class discussion, simulation/role play, and video demonstrations. Materials: Textbook and course pack.

  • MGMT918 - PERSONNEL ECONOMICS A

    This is a half-semester PhD course in the Management Department that is also open to any current PhD students at Wharton. The canonical model in economics views an agent as a fully rational, atomistic individual making optimal choices under scarcity. This approach has been very powerful theoretically and empirically to explain and to predict behavior in the workplace. This model has also been enriched to accommodate other phenomena arguably affecting behavior in the workplace like the social context (e.g. peer effects, altruism, or social comparison), non-standard time preferences, loss aversion, and cognitive costs. Incorporating these ideas into the standard model can be accomplished in various ways but the real stress test for these theories is whether they predict behavior more generally (i.e. we don't just use theory to explain one choice but choices more generally) and to generate empirical predictions that can be tested using experiments. In this mini-course we start-off with a tour de force of the fundamental principal-agent model and the various behavioral extensions. The core of the course is, however, not theoretical but a practical course on how to design field experiments to test these ideas.

  • MGMT919 - PERSONNEL ECONOMICS B

    This is a half-semester PhD course in the Management Department that is also open to any current PhD students at Wharton. It is a continuation and builds on MGMT 918 - please see the course description for MGMT 918. As in MGMT 918 we expand on the canonical model in economics and introduce views from behavioral economics and introduce views from behavioral economics to derive novel theories with empirically testable implications on workplace behavior and individual performance in labor markets and health. In this mini-course the focus is on continuing our review of the literature but the primary aim is to work towards a project description and paper that can be developed into a PhD chapter or journal article.

  • OIDD691 - NEGOTIATIONS

    This course examines the art and science of negotiation, with additional emphasis on conflict resolution. Students will engage in a number of simulated negotiations ranging from simple one-issue transactions to multi-party joint ventures. Through these exercises and associated readings, students explore the basic theoretical models of bargaining and have an opportunity to test and improve their negotiation skills. Cross-listed with MGMT 691/OIDD 691/LGST 806. Format: Lecture, class discussion, simulation/role play, and video demonstrations. Materials: Textbook and course pack.

  • WH 150 - EVALUATING EVIDENCE

    WH 150 provides an introduction to all stages of the research process for business topics. In the first third of the course, we discuss theory building, hypothesis development, and research design choices particularly in casual research. In the second third, we discuss data collection methods (e.g., surveys, experiments, case studies and fieldwork) and the use of archival databases. This part of the course emphasizes the interplay between research design and sampling/data collection methods. In the final third of the course, we introduce data analysis and interpretation, including methods for converting raw data into measurable constructs suited to statistical analysis.

In the News

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Activity

Latest Research

Iwan Barankay, Peter P. Reese, Mary E Putt, Louise B. Russell, Caitlin Phillips, David Pagnotti, Sakshum Chadha, Kehinde O. Oyekanmi, Jiali Yan, Jingsan Zhu, Kevin G. Volpp, Justin T. Clapp (2021), Qualitative Exploration of Barriers to Statin Adherence and Lipid Control: A Secondary Analysis of a Randomized Clinical Trial, Jama Network Open, 4 (5).
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In the News

How Vaccine Mandates Are Helping Companies

Firms that mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for employees are protecting the workforce and mitigating loss, says Wharton management professor Iwan Barankay.

Knowledge @ Wharton - 8/10/2021
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Wharton Magazine

Which Perks Matter Most to Employees?
Wharton Magazine - 04/17/2020

Wharton Stories

The Intersection of Advocacy and Academia: How Wharton Took Me to the Arctic

In today’s stay-at-home world, it’s hard to believe that this last semester began on the other side of the globe: visiting the Arctic Circle. This past January, I experienced the joys of 4-hour days and freezing temperatures at the Arctic Frontiers Student Forum in Tromsø, Norway, the largest city above…

Wharton Stories - 07/23/2020
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