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Responsibility-Alleviation and Other-Regarding Preferences with Peer Workers in Labor Markets: An Experimental Investigation

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  • Mark Owens

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Abstract

A peer worker is introduced in a controlled labor market experiment characterized by unobservable effort and incomplete contracts. Workers make decisions independently and without knowledge of each other’s actions in a modified gift exchange experiment. Introducing a peer worker into an ongoing market has a negative and significant effect on effort. This decrease in effort is consistent with responsibility-alleviation on the part of employees and not with other-regarding equity concerns for the manager’s payoffs. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s12122-012-9138-9
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Labor Research.

Volume (Year): 33 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 353-369

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Handle: RePEc:spr:jlabre:v:33:y:2012:i:3:p:353-369

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Web page: http://www.springer.com/economics/journal/12122

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Related research

Keywords: Peer effects; Responsibility-alleviation; Other-regarding behavior; Gift exchange; Experiment; D03; C91;

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References

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  1. Johannes Abeler & Steffen Altmann & Sebastian Kube & Matthias Wibral, 2010. "Gift Exchange and Workers' Fairness Concerns: When Equality is Unfair," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(6), pages 1299-1324, December.
  2. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1998. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," CEPR Discussion Papers 1812, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. R. M. Isaac & J. M. Walker, 2010. "Group size effects in public goods provision: The voluntary contribution mechanism," Levine's Working Paper Archive 310, David K. Levine.
  4. R. Lynn Hannan & John H. Kagel & Donald V. Moser, 2002. "Partial Gift Exchange in an Experimental Labor Market: Impact of Subject Population Differences, Productivity Differences, and Effort Requests on Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 923-951, October.
  5. Charness, Gary B, 2004. "Attribution And Reciprocity In An Experimental Labor Market," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt8rp6b18c, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  6. Sandra Maximiano & Randolph Sloof & Joep Sonnemans, 2007. "Gift Exchange in a Multi-Worker Firm," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(522), pages 1025-1050, 07.
  7. Gary Charness & Peter Kuhn, 2007. "Does Pay Inequality Affect Worker Effort? Experimental Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 693-723.
  8. Campbell, Carl M, III & Kamlani, Kunal S, 1997. "The Reasons for Wage Rigidity: Evidence from a Survey of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 759-89, August.
  9. Owens, Mark F. & Kagel, John H., 2010. "Minimum wage restrictions and employee effort in incomplete labor markets: An experimental investigation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 317-326, March.
  10. Andreoni, James, 2007. "Giving gifts to groups: How altruism depends on the number of recipients," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(9), pages 1731-1749, September.
  11. Jordi Brandts & Gary Charness, 2004. "Do Labour Market Conditions Affect Gift Exchange? Some Experimental Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 684-708, 07.
  12. Charness, Gary B, 1999. "Responsibility And Effort In An Experimental Labor Market," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt7x98w91h, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
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