Recent advances in incentive theory stress the multi- dimensional nature of agent
effort and particularly the case where workers can improve the performance of others
through `helping' efforts. This paper provides a simple model of an agent's incentive
to help depending on the compensation package, the cost of monitoring, and the allocation
of tasks. We then analyze the determinants of reported helping efforts within workgroups
for a sample of Australian workers. As expected, workers are less likely to help
one another when promotion incentives are strong. Subsidiary results are consistent
with our `contest' interpretation of this finding and not consistent with `gift exchange'
or other variants of the efficiency wage hypothesis. Also as predicted, a wide range
of job tasks amplifies the negative effect of promotional incentives, while monitoring
of help mitigates the negative effect. We find an unexpected positive effect of piece
rates on helping effort for long-term employees which we show is consistent with
repeated game effects between workers. These considerations do not overturn our findings
about the effects of tournaments.