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The Dark Side of Reciprocity

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  • Natalia Montinari

    ()
    (Max Planck Institute of Economics)

Abstract

Whether friendship or competitive relationships deserve to be encouraged in the workplace is not obvious a priori. In this paper we derive the conditions under which a profit-maximizing employer finds it convenient to induce a rat race among workers exhibiting horizontal reciprocity in order to obtain underpaid or unpaid extra effort. We characterize the optimal compensation scheme under both symmetric and asymmetric information about workers' actions, and we also derive conditions for our result to hold in the presence of vertical reciprocity.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics in its series Jena Economic Research Papers with number 2011-052.

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Date of creation: 04 Nov 2011
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Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2011-052

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Keywords: Extra Effort; Horizontal Reciprocity; Negative Reciprocity;

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  1. Gould, Eric D & Winter, Eyal, 2007. "Interactions Between Workers and the Technology of Production: Evidence from Professional Baseball," CEPR Discussion Papers 6527, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  8. Heike Hennig-Schmidt & Bettina Rockenbach & Abdolkarim Sadrieh, 2005. "In search of worker's real effort reciprocity - a field and a laboratory experiment," Artefactual Field Experiments 00065, The Field Experiments Website.
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  13. Meyer, Anna & Wallette, Mårten, 2005. "Absence of Absenteeism and Overtime work – Signaling Factors for Temporary Workers?," Working Papers 2005:15, Lund University, Department of Economics.
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  16. Corneo, Giacomo & Rob, Rafael, 2003. "Working in public and private firms," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1335-1352, August.
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  18. Landers, Renee M & Rebitzer, James B & Taylor, Lowell J, 1996. "Rat Race Redux: Adverse Selection in the Determination of Work Hours in Law Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 329-48, June.
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