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In good times and bad – Reciprocal behavior at the workplace in times of economic crises

Listed author(s):
  • Gerhards, Leonie
  • Heinz, Matthias
Registered author(s):

    This laboratory experiment analyzes employer–employee relations in the face of an exogenous shock. We implement a two-period gift-exchange game in which the employer can be hit by an adverse shock in the second period. We find that the mere possibility of the shock encourages employers to pay significantly higher wages in the first period. These higher first period wages translate into increased effort levels in the second period, independent of the actual occurrence of the shock. Our results suggest that the mere possibility of an exogenous shock strengthens the cooperation between individuals, which can ultimately mitigate its negative impact on total profits.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268116303043
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

    Volume (Year): 134 (2017)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 228-239

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:134:y:2017:i:c:p:228-239
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2016.12.021
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

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    1. Gary Charness, 2004. "Attribution and Reciprocity in an Experimental Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(3), pages 665-688, July.
    2. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
    3. 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.
    4. Charness, Gary & Jackson, Matthew O., 2009. "The role of responsibility in strategic risk-taking," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 241-247, March.
    5. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gachter & Georg Kirchsteiger, 1997. "Reciprocity as a Contract Enforcement Device: Experimental Evidence," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 833-860, July.
    6. Jared Rubin & Roman Sheremeta, 2016. "Principal–Agent Settings with Random Shocks," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 62(4), pages 985-999, April.
    7. Falk, Armin & Fischbacher, Urs, 2006. "A theory of reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 293-315, February.
    8. Martin Brown & Armin Falk & Ernst Fehr, 2004. "Relational Contracts and the Nature of Market Interactions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(3), pages 747-780, May.
    9. Sebastian Kube & Michel André Maréchal & Clemens Puppe, 2013. "Do Wage Cuts Damage Work Morale? Evidence From A Natural Field Experiment," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 853-870, August.
    10. Fischbacher, Urs & Gachter, Simon & Fehr, Ernst, 2001. "Are people conditionally cooperative? Evidence from a public goods experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 397-404, June.
    11. Richard B. Freeman & Edward P. Lazear, 1995. "An Economic Analysis of Works Councils," NBER Chapters,in: Works Councils: Consultation, Representation, and Cooperation in Industrial Relations, pages 27-52 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    18. Carl M. Campbell III & Kunal S. Kamlani, 1997. "The Reasons for Wage Rigidity: Evidence from a Survey of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(3), pages 759-789.
    19. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2006. "The Economics of Fairness, Reciprocity and Altruism - Experimental Evidence and New Theories," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, Elsevier.
    20. 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 728-741, September.
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    23. Alain Cohn & Ernst Fehr & Benedikt Herrmann & Frédéric Schneider, 2014. "Social Comparison And Effort Provision: Evidence From A Field Experiment," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 877-898, August.
    24. repec:pit:wpaper:483 is not listed on IDEAS
    25. Julius Pahlke & Sebastian Strasser & Ferdinand Vieider, 2015. "Responsibility effects in decision making under risk," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 51(2), pages 125-146, October.
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