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Gift exchange and the separation of ownership and control

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  • Maximiano, Sandra
  • Sloof, Randolph
  • Sonnemans, Joep

Abstract

Numerous gift-exchange experiments have found a positive wage–effort relationship. In (almost) all these experiments the employer both owns and controls the firm. This paper explores to what extent the separation of ownership and control affects the wage–effort relationship. We compare the standard bilateral gift-exchange game between an owner-manager and a worker with two trilateral ones where the firm is owned by a shareholder and controlled by a manager. The wage–effort relationship is similar in all three situations. Most strikingly, workers reward higher wages with higher effort, even when the manager does not share in the firmʼs profits.

Suggested Citation

  • Maximiano, Sandra & Sloof, Randolph & Sonnemans, Joep, 2013. "Gift exchange and the separation of ownership and control," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 41-60.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:77:y:2013:i:1:p:41-60 DOI: 10.1016/j.geb.2012.07.004
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Dur, Robert & Roelfsema, Hein, 2010. "Social exchange and common agency in organizations," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 55-63, January.
    2. 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.
    3. Valeria Maggian & Natalia Montinari & Antonio Nicolò, 2015. "Backscratching in Hierarchical Organizations," Working Papers 299, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2015.
    4. Charness, Gary & Kuhn, Peter, 2011. "Lab Labor: What Can Labor Economists Learn from the Lab?," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    5. Liang, Pinghan & Meng, Juanjuan, 2013. "Love me, love my dog: an experimental study on social connections and indirect reciprocity," MPRA Paper 45270, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Riedl A.M. & Dariel A., 2013. "Reciprocal preferences and the unraveling of gift-exchange," Research Memorandum 034, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
    7. Randolph Sloof & Ferdinand von Siemens, 2015. "Decision Initiation, Decision Implementation, and the Allocation of Decision Rights," CESifo Working Paper Series 5509, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gift exchange; Reciprocity; Ownership; Control;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • J50 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - General
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

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