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Competitive Preferences and Status as an Incentive: Experimental Evidence

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  • Charness, Gary

    ()
    (University of California, Santa Barbara)

  • Masclet, David

    ()
    (University of Rennes)

  • Villeval, Marie Claire

    ()
    (CNRS, GATE)

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate individuals' investment in status in an environment where no monetary return can possibly be derived from reaching a better relative position. We use a real-effort experiment in which we permit individuals to learn and potentially improve their status (rank). We find that people express both intrinsic motivation and a taste for status. Indeed, people increase their effort when they are simply informed about their relative performance, and people pay both to sabotage others’ output and to artificially increase their own relative performance. In addition, stronger group identity favors positive rivalry and discourages sabotage among peers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5034.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5034

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Keywords: experiment; competitive preferences; rank; status seeking;

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Cited by:
  1. Loukas Balafoutas & Florian Lindner & Matthias Sutter, 2012. "Sabotage in Tournaments: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(4), pages 425-441, November.
  2. Kuhn, Peter J. & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2011. "Do Women Prefer a Co-operative Work Environment?," IZA Discussion Papers 5999, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Tran, Anh & Zeckhauser, Richard, 2012. "Rank as an inherent incentive: Evidence from a field experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 645-650.
  4. Eriksson, Tor & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2012. "Respect and relational contracts," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 286-298.
  5. Kamphorst, Jurjen J.A. & Swank, Otto H., 2013. "When Galatea cares about her reputation: How having faith in your workers reduces their motivation to shine," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 91-104.
  6. Brice Corgnet & Roberto Hernán-González & Stephen Rassenti, 2011. "Real Effort, Real Leisure and Real-time Supervision: Incentives and Peer Pressure in Virtual Organizations," Working Papers 11-05, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  7. Rustichini, Aldo & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2012. "Moral Hypocrisy, Power and Social Preferences," IZA Discussion Papers 6590, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Nadja Kairies & Miriam Krieger, 2013. "How do Non-Monetary Performance Incentives for Physicians Affect the Quality of Medical Care? – A Laboratory Experiment," Ruhr Economic Papers 0414, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.

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