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Social comparisons in wage delegation: experimental evidence

Author

Listed:
  • Gary Charness

    (University of California)

  • Ramón Cobo-Reyes

    (University of Exeter Business School)

  • Juan A. Lacomba

    (University of Granada & Globe)

  • Francisco Lagos

    (University of Granada & Globe)

  • Jose Maria Perez

    (University of Granada)

Abstract

We make two main contributions in this article. We examine whether social comparisons affects workers’ performance when a firm can choose workers’ wages or let them choose their own. Firms can delegate the wage decision to neither, one or both workers in the firm. We vary the information workers receive, finding that social comparisons concerning both wages and decision rights affect workers’ performance. Our second contribution is methodological. We find that our treatment effects are present with both stated effort and a real-effort task, which suggests that both approaches may yield similar results in labor experiments.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:19:y:2016:i:2:d:10.1007_s10683-015-9448-x
    DOI: 10.1007/s10683-015-9448-x
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    3. Danková, Katarína & Morita, Hodaka & Servátka, Maroš & Zhang, Le, 2019. "Job assignment and fairness concerns," MPRA Paper 95918, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Sabrina Jeworrek & Vanessa Mertins, 2019. "Wage delegation in the field," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(4), pages 656-669, November.
    5. Burn, Ian & Kettler, Kyle, 2019. "The more you know, the better you’re paid? Evidence from pay secrecy bans for managers," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 92-109.
    6. Brañas-Garza, Pablo & Molis, Elena & Neyse, Levent, 2021. "Exposure to inequality may cause under-provision of public goods: Experimental evidence," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 92(C).
    7. Charness, Gary & Gneezy, Uri & Henderson, Austin, 2018. "Experimental methods: Measuring effort in economics experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 74-87.
    8. Dhillon, Amrita & Peeters, Ronald & Bartrum, Oliver & Yüksel, Ayşe Müge, 2020. "Hiring an employee’s friends is good for business: Overcoming moral hazard with social networks," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(C).
    9. Mohsen Javdani & Brian Krauth, 2020. "Job satisfaction and co‐worker pay in Canadian firms," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 53(1), pages 212-248, February.
    10. Marco Faillo & Costanza Piovanelli, 2017. "Wage delegation and intrinsic motivation: an experimental study," CEEL Working Papers 1701, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    11. Dodonova, Anna & Khoroshilov, Yuri, 2014. "Compensation and performance: An experimental study," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 124(2), pages 304-307.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Delegation; Discrimination; Experiment; Real effort; Social comparisons; Stated effort;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts

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