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Can Wages Signal Kindness?

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Author Info

  • Emrah Arbak

    ()
    (GATE CNRS)

  • Laurence Kranich

Abstract

We model the interaction between an employer and a worker with interdependent preferences in a simple one-shot production process. In particular, we assume that the worker becomes kinder if she senses that her employer is an altruist. We assume that intentions are private information. Thus, the wage proposal signals the intentions of the employer to the worker. We show that if the workers have ”reasonable” beliefs, then the unique prediction of the game is a separating equilibrium outcome in which wages are fully informative about the intentions of the employer. However, if there are several employers simultaneously bidding to hire a single worker, then there may exist another equilibrium in which wages are completely uninformative.

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File URL: ftp://ftp.gate.cnrs.fr/RePEc/2005/0511.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure in its series Working Papers with number 0511.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gat:wpaper:0511

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Keywords: Altruism; Reciprocity; Asymmetric information; Labor relations; Behavioral game theory;

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References

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  1. B. Douglas Bernheim & Sergei Severinov, 2003. "Bequests as Signals: An Explanation for the Equal Division Puzzle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(4), pages 733-764, August.
  2. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory Of Fairness, Competition, And Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868, August.
  3. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  4. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," CESifo Working Paper Series 336, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Cho, In-Koo & Kreps, David M, 1987. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(2), pages 179-221, May.
  6. Gary Charness & Ernan Haruvy, 1999. "Altruism, equity and reciprocity in a gift-exchange experiment: An encompassing approach," Economics Working Papers 368, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  7. Armin Falk & Urs Fischbacher, 2001. "A Theory of Reciprocity," CESifo Working Paper Series 457, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. David K. Levine, 1998. "Modeling Altruism and Spitefulness in Experiment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(3), pages 593-622, July.
  9. Geanakoplos, John & Pearce, David & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1989. "Psychological games and sequential rationality," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 60-79, March.
  10. Sethi, Rajiv & Somanathan, E., 2003. "Understanding reciprocity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 1-27, January.
  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. V. Prasnikar & A. Roth, 1998. "Considerations of fairness and strategy: experimental data from sequential games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 451, David K. Levine.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Non, Arjan, 2012. "Gift-exchange, incentives, and heterogeneous workers," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 319-336.
  2. Saima Naeem & Asad Zaman, 2013. "For Love or Money? Motivating Workers," PIDE-Working Papers 2013:90, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
  3. Robert Dur & Hein Roelfsema, 2006. "Social Exchange and Common Agency in Organizations," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 06-111/1, Tinbergen Institute, revised 15 Oct 2008.

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