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Ingratiation and Favoritism: Experimental Evidence

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  • Stéphane Robin

    (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - École Normale Supérieure (ENS) - Lyon - PRES Université de Lyon - Université Jean Monnet - Saint-Etienne - Université Claude Bernard - Lyon I)

  • Agnieszka Rusinowska

    ()
    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris 1 - Panthéon-Sorbonne)

  • Marie Claire Villeval

    ()
    (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - École Normale Supérieure (ENS) - Lyon - PRES Université de Lyon - Université Jean Monnet - Saint-Etienne - Université Claude Bernard - Lyon I)

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    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 HAL in its series Working Papers with number halshs-00694160.

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    Date of creation: 03 May 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00694160

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    Related research

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

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. The Gravitational Pull towards Groupthink
      by Nicholas Gruen in Club Troppo on 2012-06-03 03:03:56

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