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Your success is my motivation

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  • Dalmia, Prateik
  • Filiz-Ozbay, Emel

Abstract

We study how an individuals effort choice is impacted by feedback on her own past performance and another individuals past performance. In an effort choice problem where effort is costly but increases the chance of receiving a prize, subjects who failed in the previous period increase their effort in the next period – behavior consistent with failure aversion. More interestingly, failed subjects who observe that their partner succeeded exert higher effort in the next period than failed subjects who observe that their partner also failed – behavior consistent with behindness aversion. This effect is more pronounced for female subjects than male subjects, suggesting that failing women are more motivated by the success of others than failing men. Rather than letting subjects work in isolation, we find that the highest joint effort can be achieved by matching failed and successful subjects into pairs and providing feedback about the others performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Dalmia, Prateik & Filiz-Ozbay, Emel, 2021. "Your success is my motivation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 181(C), pages 49-85.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:181:y:2021:i:c:p:49-85
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2020.11.025
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Effort choice; Feedback; Social comparison; Risk evaluation; Gender;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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