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Tipping as a strategic investment in service quality: An optimal-control analysis of repeated interactions in the service industry

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  • Azar, Ofer H.
  • Tobol, Yossi

Abstract

We present an optimal-control model where tipping behavior creates reputation that affects future service. Tipping and reputation can evolve in four path prototypes: converging to an interior equilibrium; converging to minimum tips and reputation; and two prototypes that start differently but end with tips and reputation increasing indefinitely. Analyzing the interior equilibrium suggests that when reputation erodes more quickly (capturing lower patronage frequency), equilibrium reputation is lower. Interestingly, however, tips may be higher. Increasing the minimal tip raises tips by the same increase, and does not change reputation. A more patient customer leaves higher tips and reaches a higher reputation.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/4452/
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 4393.

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Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision: 2007
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:4393

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Keywords: Tipping; Service Industry; Behavioral Economics; Social Norms; Service Quality;

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References

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  1. Wessels, Walter John, 1997. "Minimum Wages and Tipped Servers," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(2), pages 334-49, April.
  2. Ernst Fehr & Simon G�chter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 159-181, Summer.
  3. Ofer H. Azar, 2003. "The implications of tipping for economics and management," Others 0309002, EconWPA.
  4. Ofer H. Azar, 2004. "Optimal Monitoring with External Incentives: The Case of Tipping," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 71(1), pages 170-181, July.
  5. Ofer Azar, 2005. "The Social Norm of Tipping: Does it Improve Social Welfare?," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 85(2), pages 141-173, 08.
  6. Ofer H. Azar, 2003. "The Social Norm of Tipping: A Review," Others 0309006, EconWPA.
  7. Rachel Barkan & Aviad Israeli, 2004. "Testing servers' roles as experts and managers of tipping behaviour," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(6), pages 91-108, November.
  8. Ofer H. Azar, 2003. "What sustains social norms and how they evolve? The case of tipping," Others 0309001, EconWPA.
  9. Matt Parrett, 2006. "An Analysis of the Determinants of Tipping Behavior: A Laboratory Experiment and Evidence from Restaurant Tipping," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 489–514, October.
  10. Lynn, Michael & McCall, Michael, 2000. "Gratitude and gratuity: a meta-analysis of research on the service-tipping relationship," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 203-214.
  11. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-41, September.
  12. Lynn, Michael & Grassman, Andrea, 1990. "Restaurant tipping: an examination of three 'rational' explanations," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 169-181, June.
  13. Azar, Ofer H., 2005. "Incentives and Service Quality in the Restaurant Industry: The Tipping – Service Puzzle," MPRA Paper 4457, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2006.
  14. Ofer H. Azar, 2005. "Why pay extra? Tipping and the importance of social norms and feelings in economic theory," Microeconomics 0503005, EconWPA.
  15. Conlin, Michael & Lynn, Michael & O'Donoghue, Ted, 2003. "The norm of restaurant tipping," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 297-321, November.
  16. Azar, Ofer H., 2009. "Tipping motivations and behavior in the US and Israel," MPRA Paper 20304, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  17. Ruffle, Bradley J., 1999. "Gift giving with emotions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 399-420, July.
  18. Ofer Azar, 2005. "Who do we tip and why? An empirical investigation," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(16), pages 1871-1879.
  19. Ofer H. Azar, 2007. "Do people tip strategically, to improve future service? Theory and evidence," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(2), pages 515-527, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Holland, Steven J., 2009. "Tipping as risk sharing," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 641-647, August.
  2. Ofer Azar, 2009. "Incentives and service quality in the restaurant industry: the tipping-service puzzle," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(15), pages 1917-1927.
  3. Azar, Ofer H., 2006. "Tipping, firm strategy, and industrial organization," MPRA Paper 4485, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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