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On the role of social wage comparisons in gift-exchange experiments

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  • Siang, Ch'ng Kean
  • Requate, Till
  • Waichman, Israel

Abstract

This study extends a bilateral gift-exchange experiment by Clark et al. (2010). We investigate how the provision of either quantitative or qualitative information on the average wage paid in all worker-employer relationships impacts the wage set by employers and worker performance. We find that information on the average wage reduces (increases) both wage offers and effort levels in one-shot (repeated) relationships.

Suggested Citation

  • Siang, Ch'ng Kean & Requate, Till & Waichman, Israel, 2011. "On the role of social wage comparisons in gift-exchange experiments," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 75-78, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:112:y:2011:i:1:p:75-78
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gächter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 159-181, Summer.
    2. Ernst Fehr & Georg Kirchsteiger & Arno Riedl, 1993. "Does Fairness Prevent Market Clearing? An Experimental Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(2), pages 437-459.
    3. Kirchler, Erich & Fehr, Ernst & Evans, Robert, 1996. "Social exchange in the labor market: Reciprocity and trust versus egoistic money maximization," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 313-341, June.
    4. Johannes Abeler & Steffen Altmann & Sebastian Kube & Matthias Wibral, 2010. "Gift Exchange and Workers' Fairness Concerns: When Equality is Unfair," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(6), pages 1299-1324, December.
    5. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1996. "Satisfaction and comparison income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 359-381, September.
    6. Simon Gächter & Armin Falk, 2002. "Reputation and Reciprocity: Consequences for the Labour Relation," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(1), pages 1-26, March.
    7. Gary Charness & Peter Kuhn, 2007. "Does Pay Inequality Affect Worker Effort? Experimental Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 693-723.
    8. George A. Akerlof, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-569.
    9. Werner Güth & Manfred Königstein & Judit Kovács & Enikõ Zala-Mezõ, 2001. "Fairness Within Firms: The Case Of One Principal And Multiple Agents," Schmalenbach Business Review (sbr), LMU Munich School of Management, vol. 53(2), pages 82-101, April.
    10. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Johannes Becker & Daniel Hopp & Karolin Süß, 2020. "How Altruistic Is Indirect Reciprocity? - Evidence from Gift-Exchange Games in the Lab," CESifo Working Paper Series 8423, CESifo.
    2. Gary Charness & Ramón Cobo-Reyes & Juan A. Lacomba & Francisco Lagos & Jose Maria Perez, 2016. "Social comparisons in wage delegation: experimental evidence," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(2), pages 433-459, June.
    3. Elwyn Davies & Marcel Fafchamps, 2017. "When No Bad Deed Goes Punished: Relational Contracting in Ghana versus the UK," NBER Working Papers 23123, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Israel Waichman & Ch’ng Kean Siang & Till Requate & Aric P. Shafran & Eva Camacho-Cuena & Yoshio Iida & Shosh Shahrabani, 2015. "Reciprocity in Labor Market Relationships: Evidence from an Experiment across High-Income OECD Countries," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(4), pages 1-22, October.
    5. Becker, Johannes & Hopp, Daniel & Süß, Karolin, 2020. "How altruistic is indirect reciprocity? - Evidence from gift-exchange games in the lab," VfS Annual Conference 2020 (Virtual Conference): Gender Economics 224592, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    6. Fortuna Casoria & Arno Riedl, 2013. "Experimental Labor Markets And Policy Considerations: Incomplete Contracts And Macroeconomic Aspects," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(3), pages 398-420, July.
    7. Davies, Elwyn & Fafchamps, Marcel, 2018. "When No Bad Deed Goes Punished: Relational Contracting in Ghana and the UK," CEPR Discussion Papers 13057, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gift exchange Reciprocity Wage difference Economic experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts

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