Deferred Compensation and Gift Exchange: An Experimental Investigation into Multi-Period Labor Markets
AbstractThis paper examines the relationship between firms’ wage offers and workers’ supply of effort using a three-period experiment. In equilibrium, firms will offer deferred compensation: first period productivity is positive and wages are zero, while third period productivity is zero and wages are positive. The experiment produces strong evidence that deferred compensation increases worker effort; in about 70 percent of cases subjects supplied the optimal effort given the wage offer, and there was a strong effort response to future-period wages. We also find some evidence of gift exchange; worker players increased the effort levels in response to above equilibrium wage offers by a human, but not in response to similar offers by a computer. Finally, we find that firm players who are initially hesitant to defer compensation learn over time that it is beneficial to do so.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1193.
Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: American Economic Review, 2011, 101 (2), 819-843
Contact details of provider:
Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org
Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
- J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
- J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
- M51 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting - - Personnel Economics - - - Firm Employment Decisions; Promotions
- M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2004-07-18 (All new papers)
- NEP-EXP-2004-07-18 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-LAB-2004-07-18 (Labour Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Fehr, Ernst & Klein, Alexander & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2001.
"Fairness, Incentives and Contractual Incompleteness,"
Discussion Papers in Economics
18, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
- Ernst Fehr & Alexander Klein & Klaus Schmidt, 2001. "Fairness, Incentives and Contractual Incompleteness," CESifo Working Paper Series 445, CESifo Group Munich.
- Ernst Fehr & Alexander Klein & Klaus M. Schmidt, . "Fairness, Incentives and Contractual Incompleteness," IEW - Working Papers 072, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Fehr, Ernst & Klein, Alexander & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2001. "Fairness, Incentives and Contractual Incompleteness," CEPR Discussion Papers 2790, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Iris Bohnet & Bruno S. Frey & Steffen Huck, . "More Order with Less Law: On Contract Enforcement, Trust, and Crowding," IEW - Working Papers 052, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
- Georg Kirchsteiger & Ernst Fehr & Arno Riedl, 1996.
"Involuntary unemployment and non-compensating wage differentials in an experimental labour market,"
ULB Institutional Repository
2013/5917, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Fehr, Ernst & Kirchsteiger, Georg & Riedl, Arno, 1996. "Involuntary Unemployment and Non-compensating Wage Differentials in an Experimental Labour Market," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(434), pages 106-21, January.
- Joanne Salop & Steve Salop, 1976. "Self-selection and turnover in the labor market," Special Studies Papers 80, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
- Ernst Fehr & Armin Falk, 1999.
"Wage Rigidity in a Competitive Incomplete Contract Market,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(1), pages 106-134, February.
- Ernst Fehr & Armin Falk, 2003. "Wage Rigidity in a Competitive Incomplete Contract Market," Labor and Demography 0305001, EconWPA.
- Hutchens, Robert M, 1987. "A Test of Lazear's Theory of Delayed Payment Contracts," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(4), pages S153-70, October.
- Edward P. Lazear, 1996.
"Performance Pay and Productivity,"
NBER Working Papers
5672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ernst Fehr & Simon Gachter & Georg Kirchsteiger, 1997.
"Reciprocity as a Contract Enforcement Device: Experimental Evidence,"
Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 833-860, July.
- Georg Kirchsteiger & Ernst Fehr & Simon Gächter, 1997. "Reciprocity as a contract enforcement device: experimental evidence," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5911, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Akerlof, George A, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-69, November.
- Jagadeesh Gokhale & Erica L. Groshen & David Neumark, 1992.
"Do hostile takeovers reduce extramarginal wage payments?,"
9215, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
- Gokhale, Jagadeesh & Groshen, Erica L & Neumark, David, 1995. "Do Hostile Takeovers Reduce Extramarginal Wage Payments?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(3), pages 470-85, August.
- Jagadeesh Gokhale & Erica L. Groshen & David Neumark, 1993. "Do Hostile Takeovers Reduce Extramarginal Wage Payments?," NBER Working Papers 4346, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L, 1990. "The Fair Wage-Effort Hypothesis and Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(2), pages 255-83, May.
- Salop, Joanne & Salop, Steven, 1976. "Self-Selection and Turnover in the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 619-27, November.
- Lazear, Edward P, 1979. "Why Is There Mandatory Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1261-84, December.
- Daniel van Vuuren & Paul de Hek, 2010.
"Are older workers overpaid? A literature review,"
CPB Discussion Paper
165, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.