I just got this email from the careers service here at LSE (emphasis mine):
A Conservative MP is looking for support in his role on the Public Accounts Select Committee.
The position is paid £7.85 p/h and will be for approx 15 hours per week.
The successful candidate must have excellent financial understanding in order to examine and analyse accounts.
The candidate should be inquisitive and have an interest in challenging public accounts.
The candidate should also be able to draft their findings into concise briefings and press releases.
To apply please send your CV and covering letter (1 page max) to XXXX by email XXXX@lse.ac.uk ASAP
£7.85 per hour? Are they kidding? They’re sending this to every economics Ph.D. candidate at the London School of Economics? What the f*** are they thinking? (the first person to say “non-monetary incentives” gets a clip ’round the ear)
Update 23 September 2010: Professor Frank Cowell, over on facebook, points us towards:
Gneezy, U. and Rustichini, A. (2000) “Pay Enough or Don’t Pay at All“, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 115, pp. 791-810.
Here’s the abstract:
Economists usually assume that monetary incentives improve performance, and psychologists claim that the opposite may happen. We present and discuss a set of experiments designed to test these contrasting claims. We found that the effect of monetary compensation on performance was not monotonic. In the treatments in which money was offered, a larger amount yielded a higher performance. However, offering money did not always produce an improvement: subjects who were offered monetary incentives performed more poorly than those who were offered no compensation. Several possible interpretations of the results are discussed.