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Ingratiation and Favoritism : Experimental Evidence

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  • Stéphane Robin

    ()
    (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69007, France ; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne,F-69130 Ecully, France)

  • Agnieszka Rusinowska

    ()
    (CES (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne), Paris School of Economics – CNRS, 106-112 Bd de l'Hôpital, 75647 Paris, France)

  • Marie-Claire Villeval

    ()
    (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69007, France ; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne,F-69130 Ecully, France)

Abstract

We provide experimental evidence of workers’ ingratiation by opinion conformity and of managers’ discrimination in favor of workers with whom they share similar opinions. In our Baseline, managers can observe both workers’ performance at a task and opinions before assigning unequal payoffs. In the Ingratiation treatment, workers can change their opinion after learning that held by the manager. In the Random treatment, workers can also change opinion but payoffs are assigned randomly, which gives a measure of non-strategic opinion conformism. We find evidence of high ingratiation indices, as overall, ingratiation is effective. Indeed, managers reward opinion conformity, and even more so when opinions cannot be manipulated. Additional treatments reveal that ingratiation is cost sensitive and that the introduction of performance pay for managers as well as a less noisy measure of performance increase the role of relative performance in the assignment of payoffs, without eliminating the reward of opinion conformity.

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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 1207.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:gat:wpaper:1207

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Keywords: Ingratiation; opinion conformity; favoritism; discrimination; social distance; experiment;

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