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Competition and Well-Being

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  • Brandts, Jordi

    ()
    (Autonomous University of Barcelona)

  • Riedl, Arno

    ()
    (Maastricht University)

  • van Winden, Frans

    ()
    (University of Amsterdam)

Abstract

This paper experimentally studies the effects of competition in an environment where people's actions can not be contractually fixed. We find that, in comparison with no competition, the presence of competition does neither increase efficiency nor does it yield any gains in earnings for the short side of the exchange relation. Moreover, competition has a clearly negative impact on the disposition towards others and on the experienced well-being of those on the long side. Since subjective well-being improves only for those on the short side competition contributes to larger inequalities in experienced well-being. All in all competition does not show up as a positive force in our environment.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1769.

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Length: 54 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as "Competitive Rivalry, Social Disposition, and Subjective Well-Being: An Experiment" in: Journal of Public Economics, 2009, 93 (11-12), 1158-1167
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1769

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Related research

Keywords: happiness; well-being; laboratory experiment; emotions; market interaction; competition;

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Cited by:
  1. Roe, Brian E. & Wu, Steven Y., 2009. "Do the Selfish Mimic Cooperators? Experimental Evidence from Finitely-Repeated Labor Markets," IZA Discussion Papers 4084, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Canegallo, Claudia & Ortona, Guido & Ottone, Stefania & Ponzano, Ferruccio & Scacciati, Francesco, 2008. "Competition versus cooperation: Some experimental evidence," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 18-30, February.
  3. Schwieren, Christiane & Weichselbaumer, Doris, 2008. "Does Competition Enhance Performance or Cheating? A Laboratory Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 3275, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Brian Roe & Steven Y. Wu, 2005. "Social Preferences and Relational Contracting Performance: An Experimental Investigation," Microeconomics 0509006, EconWPA.
  5. Rode, Julian, 2010. "Truth and trust in communication: Experiments on the effect of a competitive context," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 325-338, January.
  6. Arno Riedl, 2009. "Behavioral and Experimental Economics Can Inform Public Policy: Some Thoughts," CESifo Working Paper Series 2902, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Frans van Winden & Mirre Stallen & K. Richard Ridderinkhof, 2008. "On the Nature, Modeling, and Neural Bases of Social Ties," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 08-063/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  8. Fischer, Justina A.V., 2008. "Is competition good for trust? Cross-country evidence using micro-data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 56-59, July.
  9. Rode, Julian, 2007. "Truth and Trust in Communication: An Experimental Study of Behavior under Asymmetric Information," Ratio Working Papers 111, The Ratio Institute.

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