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Peer Effects in the Workplace: Evidence from Random Groupings in Professional Golf Tournaments

  • Jonathan Guryan
  • Kory Kroft
  • Matthew J. Notowidigdo

This paper uses random assignment in professional golf tournaments to test for peer effects in the workplace. We find no evidence that playing partners' ability affects performance, contrary to recent evidence on peer effects in the workplace from laboratory experiments, grocery scanners, and soft fruit pickers. In our preferred specification, we can rule out peer effects larger than 0.043 strokes for a one stroke increase in playing partners' ability. Our results complement existing studies on workplace peer effects and are useful in explaining how social effects vary across labor markets, across individuals, and with the form of incentives faced. (JEL D83, J44, L83)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/app.1.4.34
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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/app/data/2008-0092_data.zip
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 1 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 34-68

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:1:y:2009:i:4:p:34-68
Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.1.4.34
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/aej-applied
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  16. Zimmerman, David J., 1999. "Peer Effects in Academic Outcomes: Evidence From a Natural Experiment," Williams Project on the Economics of Higher Education DP-52, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  17. Esther Duflo & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "The Role of Information and Social Interactions in Retirement Plan Decisions: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 815-842.
  18. Orszag, Jonathan M., 1994. "A new look at incentive effects and golf tournaments," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 77-88, September.
  19. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
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  22. Armin Falk & Andrea Ichino, 2006. "Clean Evidence on Peer Effects," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(1), pages 39-58, January.
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