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Gift Exchange in the Lab - It is not (only) how much you give ..

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Author Info

  • Florian Englmaier
  • Stephen G. Leider

Abstract

An important aspect in determining the effectiveness of gift exchange relations in labor markets is the ability of the worker to “repay the gift” to the employer. To test this hypothesis, we conduct a real effort laboratory experiment where we vary the wage and the effect of the worker’s effort on the manager’s payoff. Furthermore we collect additional information that allows us to control for the workers’ ability and whether they can be classified as reciprocal or not. From our agency model of reciprocal motivation we derive non-trivial predictions about which is the marginal worker (in terms of ability) affected by our experimental variation and how different types of individuals, selfish and reciprocal, will react to it. Our model does substantially better than other theories in organizing the data.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2944.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2944

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Related research

Keywords: reciprocity; fairness; real effort experiment; personality tests;

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References

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  1. Falk, Armin & Fischbacher, Urs, 2006. "A theory of reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 293-315, February.
  2. Florian Englmaier & Stephen G. Leider, 2008. "Contractual and Organizational Structurewith Reciprocal Agents," CESifo Working Paper Series 2415, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Charness, Gary B & Rabin, Matthew, 2001. "Understanding Social Preferences With Simple Tests," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt0dc3k4m5, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  4. Georg Kirchsteiger & Martin Dufwenberg, 2004. "A theory of sequential reciprocity," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5899, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. Ernst Fehr & Simon G�chter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 159-181, Summer.
  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. Irlenbusch, Bernd & Sliwka, Dirk, 2003. "Transparency and Reciprocal Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 887, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Armin Falk, 2007. "Gift Exchange in the Field," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(5), pages 1501-1511, 09.
  9. David H. Autor & David Scarborough, 2008. "Does Job Testing Harm Minority Workers? Evidence from Retail Establishments," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(1), pages 219-277, 02.
  10. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., . "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  11. Akerlof, George A, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-69, November.
  12. Nava Ashraf & Iris Bohnet & Nikita Piankov, 2006. "Decomposing trust and trustworthiness," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 193-208, September.
  13. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gachter & Georg Kirchsteiger, 2001. "Reciprocity as a Contract Enforcement Device," Levine's Working Paper Archive 563824000000000143, David K. Levine.
  14. Irlenbusch, Bernd & Sliwka, Dirk, 2005. "Transparency and reciprocal behavior in employment relations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 383-403, March.
  15. Fehr, Ernst & Falk, Armin, 2008. "Reciprocity in Experimental Markets," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
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Cited by:
  1. Saima Mahmood & Asad Zaman, 2010. "Monetary and Non-monetary Gift Exchange," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 49(4), pages 719–740.
  2. Florian Englmaier & Stephen Leider, 2012. "Contractual and Organizational Structure with Reciprocal Agents," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 146-83, May.
  3. Florian Englmaier & Stephen G. Leider, 2012. "Managerial Payoff and Gift Exchange in the Field," CESifo Working Paper Series 3707, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Kim, Min-Taec & Slonim, Robert, 2012. "The Multi-Dimensional Effects of Reciprocity on Worker Effort: Evidence from a Hybrid Field-Laboratory Labor Market Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 6410, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Sascha O. Becker & Dolores Messer & Stefan C. Wolter, 2011. "A Gift is not Always a Gift: Gift Exchange in a Voucher Experiment," CESifo Working Paper Series 3488, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. D'Agostino, Elena & Lisciandra, Maurizio, 2012. "Enforceable vs. non-enforceable contracts: a theoretical appraisal with fair players," MPRA Paper 41261, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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