Age differences in the reaction to incentives – do older people avoid competition?
AbstractThe “aging employee” has recently become a hot topic in many fields of behavioural research. With the aim to determine the effects of different incentive schemes (competition, social or increased monetary incentives) on performance of young and older subjects, we look at behaviour of a group of younger and older adults on a well-established real effort task. We show that older adults differ from younger adults in their performance in all conditions, but not in the improvement between conditions. The age difference in performance is however driven by women. While we replicate the gender difference in competitiveness found in the literature, we do not find a significant age difference in competitiveness. Social incentives have an at least as strong or even stronger effect on performance than increased monetary incentives. This effect is driven by men; women do not show an increase in performance with social incentives.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0522.
Date of creation: 17 Feb 2012
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aging; competition; social production functions; experiment; incentives;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
- C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
- J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
- J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGE-2012-03-08 (Economics of Ageing)
- NEP-ALL-2012-03-08 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2012-03-08 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-DEM-2012-03-08 (Demographic Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2012-03-08 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-HRM-2012-03-08 (Human Capital & Human Resource Management)
- NEP-LAB-2012-03-08 (Labour Economics)
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