Will Felps

Associate Professor




Room 464, UNSW Business School, UNSW


October 22, 2019: Will Felps & Jie Chen 

Speaker #1: Will Felps (Assoc Professor of Management, UNSW Business) 
Topic: Can We Make (Business) Science Better? Validity, Efficiency, And Relevance

This short, interactive presentation will discuss three objectives of (business) science – i.e. validity, efficiency, and relevance – and some ways we might enhance each.

About the speaker: 
Will Felps is an Associate Professor in the School of Management at the UNSW Business School.  His eclectic research considers a broad range of topics in the fields of organisational behaviour, human resource management, careers, research methods, business ethics, and meta-science.

Speaker #2: Jie Chen (3rd Year PhD student in the School of Economics)
Topic: Facilitating Public Goods Provision In Groups With A “Relatively Privileged” Player: The Comparative Efficacy Of Punishment And Reward

Existing experimental literature has produced inconclusive evidence on the effectiveness of punishment and reward opportunities in standard public goods games. Standard public goods games often assign group members the same marginal per capita returns to public good production, but in reality group members facing differential individual returns often must collaborate to produce a public good. This paper uses a laboratory experiment to investigate public goods contributions in groups that contain a “relatively privileged” player, and in which, additionally, each player may punish or reward other players. In public goods settings, a privileged player is one who has higher incentives to contribute to the public good than other group members. In a public-goods setting, will the presence of a privileged player affect the efficacy of punishment or reward in privileged groups? Findings from the experiment are as follows: 1) Reward increases group contributions while punishment does not; 2) Both incentives significantly mitigate contribution decay over successive periods, with reward being more effective than punishment; 3) The presence of a privileged player increases the mutual dependence among players, compared to conventional non-privileged public-goods settings, as measured by regressing one type of players’ current period contributions on the other player types’ previous period contributions. Many real-world groups are composed of groups with members with varying degrees of interest in a common purpose. The present investigation of the efficacy of reward and punishment in groups with a privileged player can shed light on how to facilitate better cooperation and induce better outcomes in these real-world settings.

About the speaker: 
Jie Chen is a third-year PhD student in the School of Economics. Jie’s research interests include experimental economics and the economics of education. Her dissertation thesis is entitled “Institutional Influences on Education Investment and Prosocial Behaviour”.  Jie’s supervisors are Associate Prof. Alberto Motta and Prof. Gigi Foster.

Additional information regarding this event will be updated here as it becomes available.