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Incomplete and Asymmetric Surplus Information in Labor Relations

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  • Hennig-Schmidt, H.
  • Rockenbach, B.
  • Sadrieh, A.

    (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)

Abstract

Numerous laboratory experiments show that workers reciprocate to high wages with high effort, when there is perfect information on the surplus created. Recent field experiments, however, suggest that trust and reciprocity may be lower or absent when the information is incomplete.We report a laboratory experiment with symmetric and asymmetric incomplete surplus information in a bilateral gift exchange setting.We find that trust and reciprocity have a significant positive effect on wages, effort and efficiency.But, all three are substantially lower under incomplete than under complete information.The negative impact on wages and efficiency is even greater with information asymmetry.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 2003-121.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:kubcen:2003121

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Keywords: incomplete information; industrial relations; trusts; efficiency;

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References

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  1. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L, 1990. "The Fair Wage-Effort Hypothesis and Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(2), pages 255-83, May.
  2. Fehr, Ernst, et al, 1998. "When Social Norms Overpower Competition: Gift Exchange in Experimental Labor Markets," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(2), pages 324-51, April.
  3. Roth, Alvin E. & Malouf, Michael W. K. & Murnighan, J. Keith, 1981. "Sociological versus strategic factors in bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 153-177, June.
  4. 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.
  5. Irlenbusch, Bernd & Sliwka, Dirk, 2003. "Transparency and Reciprocal Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 887, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Simon Gaechter & Armin Falk, . "Reputation and Reciprocity: Consequences for the Labour Relation," IEW - Working Papers 019, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  7. Akerlof, George A, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-69, November.
  8. Hennig-Schmidt, Heike & Rockenbach, Bettina & Sadrieh, Abdolkarim, 2005. "In Search of Workers' Real Effort Reciprocity - A Field and a Laboratory Experiment," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 55, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  9. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  10. Roth, Alvin E & Murnighan, J Keith, 1982. "The Role of Information in Bargaining: An Experimental Study," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1123-42, September.
  11. Georg Kirchsteiger & Ernst Fehr & Arno Riedl, 1993. "Does Fairness Prevent Market Clearing? An Experimental Investigation," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5927, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  12. Mitzkewitz, Michael & Nagel, Rosemarie, 1993. "Experimental Results on Ultimatum Games with Incomplete Information," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 171-98.
  13. Ulrich Kamecke, 1997. "note: Rotations: Matching Schemes that Efficiently Preserve the Best Reply Structure of a One Shot Game," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 409-417.
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Cited by:
  1. Ebru Isgin & Barry Sopher, 2013. "Information Transparency, Fairness and Labor Market Efficiency," Departmental Working Papers 201303, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.

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