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Competitive work environments and social preferences: Field experimental evidence from a japanese fishing community

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  • Jeff Carpenter
  • Erika Seki

Abstract

Models of job tournaments and competitive workplaces more generally predict that while individual effort may increase as competition intensifies between workers, the incentive for workers to cooperate with each other diminishes. We report on a field experiment conducted with workers from a fishing community in Toyama Bay, Japan. Our participants are employed in three different aspects of fishing. The first group are fishermen, the second group are fish wholesalers (or traders), and the third group are staff at the local fishing coop. Although our participants have much in common (e.g., their common relationship to the local fishery and the fact that they all live in the same community), we argue that they are exposed to different amounts of competition on-the-job and that these differences explain differences in cooperation in our experiment. Specifically, fishermen and traders, who interact in more competitive environments are significantly less cooperative than the coop staff who face little competition on the job. Further, after accounting for the possibility of personality-based selection, perceptions of competition faced on-the-job and the treatment effect of job incentives explain these differences in cooperation to a large extent.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Field Experiments Website in its series Artefactual Field Experiments with number 00032.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:feb:artefa:00032

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Web page: http://www.fieldexperiments.com

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  1. Drago, Robert & Garvey, Gerald T, 1998. "Incentives for Helping on the Job: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 1-25, January.
  2. Lazear, Edward P, 1989. "Pay Equality and Industrial Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 561-80, June.
  3. Jeffrey Carpenter & Erika Seki, 2005. "Do Social PreferencesIncrease Productivity? Field experimental evidence from fishermen in Toyoma Bay," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0515, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  4. John List & David Reiley, 2008. "Field experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00091, The Field Experiments Website.
  5. Kong-Pin Chen, 2003. "Sabotage in Promotion Tournaments," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 119-140, April.
  6. David Masclet & Charles Noussair & Steven Tucker & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2003. "Monetary and non Monetary Punishment in the Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," Post-Print halshs-00175251, HAL.
  7. Jeffrey Carpenter, 2002. "Endogenouse Social Preferences," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0209, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  8. J. Ledyard, 1997. "Public Goods: A Survey of Experimental Research," Levine's Working Paper Archive 509, David K. Levine.
  9. John A. List, 2004. "Young, Selfish and Male: Field evidence of social preferences," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(492), pages 121-149, 01.
  10. Carpenter, Jeffrey P. & Daniere, Amrita G. & Takahashi, Lois M., 2004. "Cooperation, trust, and social capital in Southeast Asian urban slums," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 533-551, December.
  11. Jeff Carpenter & Glenn Harrison & John List, 2005. "Field experiments in economics: An introduction," Artefactual Field Experiments 00034, The Field Experiments Website.
  12. John A. List & Imran Rasul, 2010. "Field Experiments in Labor Economics," NBER Working Papers 16062, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Burks, Stephen V. & Carpenter, Jeffrey P. & Götte, Lorenz, 2006. "Performance Pay and the Erosion of Worker Cooperation: Field Experimental Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 2013, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
  15. Seki, Erika, 2006. "Effects of rotation scheme on fishing behaviour with price discrimination and limited durability: Theory and evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 106-135, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2008. "Field Experiments in Economics: The Past, The Present, and The Future," NBER Working Papers 14356, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Frick, Bernd, 2011. "Gender differences in competitiveness: Empirical evidence from professional distance running," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 389-398, June.
  3. Bigoni, Maria & Camera, Gabriele & Casari, Marco, 2012. "Strategies of Cooperation and Punishment among Students and Clerical Workers," IZA Discussion Papers 7051, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Martin, Pardupa, 2007. "Cooperation or rivalry? Employee’s effort and appropriate knowledge distribution as key elements for maximizing the profit of the firm," MPRA Paper 26428, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. List John A., 2007. "Field Experiments: A Bridge between Lab and Naturally Occurring Data," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 1-47, April.
  6. Orana Bandiera & Iwan Barankay & Imran Rasul, 2006. "The evolution of cooperative norms: Evidence from a natural field experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00210, The Field Experiments Website.
  7. Burks, Stephen V. & Carpenter, Jeffrey P. & Götte, Lorenz, 2006. "Performance Pay and the Erosion of Worker Cooperation: Field Experimental Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 2013, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Martin, Pardupa, 2010. "Monetary and nonmonetary incentive measures: which work better in the Czech betting firm?," MPRA Paper 25933, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Nisvan Erkal & Lata Gangadharan & Nikos Nikiforakis, 2009. "Relative Earnings and Giving in a Real-Effort Experiment," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1067, The University of Melbourne.
  10. Berg, Nathan, 2010. "Behavioral Economics," MPRA Paper 26587, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Juan Camilo C�rdenas, 2009. "Experiments in Environment and Development," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 157-182, 09.
  12. Narloch, Ulf & Pascual, Unai & Drucker, Adam G., 2012. "Collective Action Dynamics under External Rewards: Experimental Insights from Andean Farming Communities," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(10), pages 2096-2107.
  13. John A. List & Michael K. Price, 2013. "Using Field Experiments in Environmental and Resource Economics," NBER Working Papers 19289, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Berg, Nathan & Gigerenzer, Gerd, 2010. "As-if behavioral economics: Neoclassical economics in disguise?," MPRA Paper 26586, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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