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Altruism, reciprocity and cooperation in the workplace

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  • Rotemberg, Julio J.

Abstract

This paper surveys economic models where cooperation arises in the workplace because individuals' utility functions involve a concern for others (altruism) or a desire to respond to like with like (reciprocity). It also discusses empirical evidence which bears on the relevance of these theories. The paper considers separately the feelings employees have for their employers or their supervisors, those that employees have for others that occupy similar positions as themselves and the feelings of supervisors towards their subordinates. Altruism appears to play a role in the last two settings while reciprocity seems useful to explain the way employees react to employer actions which the employees regard as unfair.

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This chapter was published in:

  • S. Kolm & Jean Mercier Ythier (ed.), 2006. "Handbook of the Economics of Giving, Altruism and Reciprocity," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 2, number 2, 00.
    This item is provided by Elsevier in its series Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism with number 2-21.

    Handle: RePEc:eee:givchp:2-21

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/bookseriesdescription.cws_home/BS_HE/description

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    Cited by:
    1. Erling Barth & Alex Bryson & Harald Dale-Olsen, 2010. "Do Higher Wages Come at a Price?," CEP Discussion Papers dp1011, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    2. Robert Dur & Joeri Sol, 2008. "Social Interaction, Co-Worker Altruism, and Incentives," CESifo Working Paper Series 2476, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Robert Dur, 2009. "Gift Exchange in The Workplace: Money or Attention?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 550-560, 04-05.
    4. Levati, M. Vittoria & Nicholas, Aaron & Rai, Birendra, 2014. "Testing the single-peakedness of other-regarding preferences," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 197-209.
    5. Helena Lopes & Teresa Calapez, 2011. "Exploring the sources and benefits of cooperation: The role and challenges of relational and moral goods," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 38(7), pages 607-627, July.
    6. Natalia Montinari, 2010. "Reciprocity in Teams: a Behavioral Explanation for Unpaid Overtime," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0114, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".

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