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Competitive Work Environments and Social Preferences: Field experimental evidence from a japanese fishing community

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  • Jeffrey Carpenter

    ()

  • Erika Seki

    ()

Abstract

Models of job tournaments and competitive workplaces more generally predict that while individual effort may increase as competition intensifies between workers, the incentive for workers to cooperate with each other diminishes. We report on a field experiment conducted with workers from a fishing community in Toyama Bay, Japan. Our participants are employed in three different aspects of fishing. The first group are fishermen, the second group are fish wholesalers (or traders), and the third group are staff at the local fishing coop. Although our participants have much in common (e.g., their common relationship to the local fishery and the fact that they all live in the same community), we argue that they are exposed to different amounts of competition on-the-job and that these differences explain differences in cooperation in our experiment. Specifically, fisherman and traders, who interact in more competitive environments are significantly less cooperative than coop staff who face little competition on the job. Further, after accounting for the possibility of personality-based selection, perceptions of competition faced on-the-job and the treatment effect of job incentives explain these difference in cooperation to a large extent.

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File URL: http://www.middlebury.edu/services/econ/repec/mdl/ancoec/0513.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Middlebury College, Department of Economics in its series Middlebury College Working Paper Series with number 0513.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mdl:mdlpap:0513

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Keywords: Field experiment; cooperation; social disapproval; social preference; competition; Japan; fishing;

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  1. Glenn Harrison & John List, 2004. "Field experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00058, The Field Experiments Website.
  2. Jeffrey Carpenter, 2002. "Endogenouse Social Preferences," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0209, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  3. Carpenter, Jeffrey P. & Seki, Erika, 2005. "Do Social Preferences Increase Productivity? Field Experimental Evidence from Fishermen in Toyama Bay," IZA Discussion Papers 1697, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. David Masclet & Charles Noussair & Steven Tucker & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2001. "Monetary and Non-Monetary Punishment in the Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," Post-Print halshs-00151423, HAL.
  5. Kong-Pin Chen, 2003. "Sabotage in Promotion Tournaments," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 119-140, April.
  6. Carpenter, Jeffrey P. & Daniere, Amrita G. & Takahashi, Lois M., 2004. "Cooperation, trust, and social capital in Southeast Asian urban slums," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 533-551, December.
  7. John A. List & Imran Rasul, 2010. "Field Experiments in Labor Economics," NBER Working Papers 16062, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Lazear, Edward P, 1989. "Pay Equality and Industrial Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 561-80, June.
  9. Drago, Robert & Garvey, Gerald T, 1998. "Incentives for Helping on the Job: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 1-25, January.
  10. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
  11. Burks, Stephen V. & Carpenter, Jeffrey P. & Götte, Lorenz, 2006. "Performance Pay and the Erosion of Worker Cooperation: Field Experimental Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 2013, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. John List, 2004. "Young, selfish, and male: Field evidence of social preferences," Natural Field Experiments 00298, The Field Experiments Website.
  13. Jeff Carpenter & Glenn Harrison & John List, 2005. "Field experiments in economics: An introduction," Artefactual Field Experiments 00034, The Field Experiments Website.
  14. Seki, Erika, 2006. "Effects of rotation scheme on fishing behaviour with price discrimination and limited durability: Theory and evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 106-135, June.
  15. Ledyard, John O., . "Public Goods: A Survey of Experimental Research," Working Papers 861, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  16. Rafael Rob & Peter Zemsky, . "Social Capital, Corporate Culture and Incentive Intensity," Penn CARESS Working Papers 7380c2f90d0b2f362ad71f139, Penn Economics Department.
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