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Can Wages Signal Kindness?

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  • Emrah Arbak

    (GATE - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - Ecole Normale Supérieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines)

  • Laurence Kranich

    (Department of Economics - State University of New York at Albany)

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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number halshs-00180032.

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Date of creation: Nov 2005
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Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00180032

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Related research

Keywords: altruism; asymmetric information; behavioral economy; game theory; labour relations; reciprocity;

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  1. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," CESifo Working Paper Series 336, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Falk, Armin & Fischbacher, Urs, 2001. "A Theory of Reciprocity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3014, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Charness, Gary B & Haruvy, Ernan, 1999. "Altruism, Equity, And Reciprocity In A Gift-Exchange Experiment: An Encompassing Approach," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt01n8x8m3, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  4. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., . "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  5. V. Prasnikar & A. Roth, 1998. "Considerations of fairness and strategy: experimental data from sequential games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 451, David K. Levine.
  6. Akerlof, George A, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-69, November.
  7. David K Levine, 1997. "Modeling Altruism and Spitefulness in Experiments," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2047, David K. Levine.
  8. In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1997. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 896, David K. Levine.
  9. B. Douglas Bernheim & Sergei Severinov, 2000. "Bequests as Signals: An Explanation for the Equal Division Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 7791, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Geanakoplos, John & Pearce, David & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1989. "Psychological games and sequential rationality," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 60-79, March.
  11. Rajiv Sethi & E.Somanathan, 2002. "Understanding reciprocity," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 02-05, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
  12. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Arjan Non, 2010. "Gift-Exchange, Incentives, and Heterogeneous Workers," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 10-008/1, Tinbergen Institute, revised 31 May 2011.
  3. Saima Naeem & Asad Zaman, 2013. "For Love or Money? Motivating Workers," PIDE-Working Papers 2013:90, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.

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