From Team Spirit to Jealousy: The Pitfalls of Too Much Transparency
AbstractFree riding in team production arises because individual effort is not perfectly observable. It seems natural to suppose that greater transparency would enhance incentives. Therefore, it is puzzling that team production often lacks transparency about individual contributions despite negligible costs for providing such information. We offer a rationale for this by demonstrating that transparency can actually hurt incentives. In the presence of career concerns information on the quality of task execution improves incentives while sustaining a cooperative team spirit. In contrast, making the identity of individual contributors observable induces sabotage behavior that looks like jealousy but arises purely from signal jamming by less successful team members. Our results rationalize the conspicuous lack of transparency in team settings with strong career concerns (e.g., co-authorship, architecture, and patent applications) and contribute to explaining the popularity of group incentive schemes in firms.
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 1661.
Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2005
Date of revision:
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
Other versions of this item:
- Alexander K. Koch & Albrecht Morgenstern, 2005. "From Team Spirit to Jealousy: The Pitfalls of Too Much Transparency," Royal Holloway, University of London: Discussion Papers in Economics 05/08, Department of Economics, Royal Holloway University of London, revised Jul 2005.
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
- J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
- L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-07-18 (All new papers)
- NEP-BEC-2005-07-18 (Business Economics)
- NEP-FMK-2005-07-18 (Financial Markets)
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.:
- Lazear, Edward P, 1989. "Pay Equality and Industrial Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 561-80, June.
- Casey Ichniowski & Kathryn Shaw, 2003. "Beyond Incentive Pay: Insiders' Estimates of the Value of Complementary Human Resource Management Practices," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 155-180, Winter.
- Andrea Prat, 2005.
"The Wrong Kind of Transparency,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 862-877, June.
- Andrea Prat, 2004. "The wrong kind of transparency," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24712, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Prat, Andrea, 2003. "The Wrong Kind of Transparency," CEPR Discussion Papers 3859, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Andrea Prat, 2002. "The Wrong Kind of Transparency," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series 439, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
- Andrea Prat, 2002. "The wrong kind of transparency," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3679, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Yeon-Koo Che & Seung-Weon Yoo, 2001.
"Optimal Incentives for Teams,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 525-541, June.
- Jean Hindriks & Philippe De Donder, 2001.
"The Politics of Redistributive Social Insurance,"
444, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
- DE DONDER, Philippe & HINDRIKS, Jean, . "The politics of redistributive social insurance," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1674, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
- HINDRIKS, Jean & DE DONDER, Philippe, 2001. "The politics of redistributive social insurance," CORE Discussion Papers 2001054, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
- Maxim Engers & Joshua S. Gans & Simon Grant & Stephen King, 1999. "First-Author Conditions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(4), pages 859-883, August.
- Bengt Holmstrom, 1981.
"Moral Hazard in Teams,"
471, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Meyer, Margaret A & Vickers, John, 1995.
"Performance Comparisons and Dynamic Incentives,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
1107, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Sauer, Raymond D, 1988. "Estimates of the Returns to Quality and Coauthorship in Economic Academia," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 855-66, August.
- Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1996.
"Satisfaction and comparison income,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 359-381, September.
- Emmanuelle Auriol & Guido Friebel & Lambros Pechlivanos, 2002. "Career Concerns in Teams," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(2), pages 289-307, Part.
- Itoh, Hideshi, 1991. "Incentives to Help in Multi-agent Situations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 611-36, May.
- Dewatripont, Mathias & Jewitt, Ian & Tirole, Jean, 1999.
"The Economics of Career Concerns, Part I: Comparing Information Structures,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 183-98, January.
- Mathias Dewatripont & Ian Jewitt & Jean Tirole, 1999. "The economics of career concerns: part 1 :comparing information structures," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9617, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Bernhardt, Dan, 1995. "Strategic Promotion and Compensation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(2), pages 315-39, April.
- Jeon, Seonghoon, 1996. "Moral hazard and reputational concerns in teams: Implications for organizational choice," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 297-315, May.
- Moore, William J & Newman, Robert J & Turnbull, Geoffrey K, 2001. "Reputational Capital and Academic Pay," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(4), pages 663-71, October.
- Steve Swidler & Elizabeth Goldreyer, 1998. "The Value of a Finance Journal Publication," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(1), pages 351-363, 02.
- Robert Gibbons & Michael Waldman, 1999. "A Theory Of Wage And Promotion Dynamics Inside Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1321-1358, November.
- Ragan Jr, James F. & Warren, John T. & Bratsberg, Bernt, 1999. "How similar are pay structures in 'similar' departments of economics?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 347-360, June.
- Koch, Alexander K. & Peyrache, Eloic, 2005. "Tournaments, Individualized Contracts and Career Concerns," IZA Discussion Papers 1841, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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.