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Worker Self-Selection and the Profits from Cooperation

Author

Listed:
  • Michael Kosfeld
  • Ferdinand A. von Siemens

Abstract

We investigate a competitive labor market with team production. Workers differ in their motivation to exert team effort, and types are private information. We show that there can exist a separating equilibrium in which workers self-select into different firms and firms employing cooperative workers make strictly positive profits. Profit differences across firms persist because cooperation strictly increases output and worker separation requires firms employing cooperative workers to pay out weakly lower wages. (JEL: D82, D86, M50) (c) 2009 by the European Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Kosfeld & Ferdinand A. von Siemens, 2009. "Worker Self-Selection and the Profits from Cooperation," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 573-582, 04-05.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:7:y:2009:i:2-3:p:573-582
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Simon Gächter & Christian Thöni, 2005. "Social Learning and Voluntary Cooperation Among Like-Minded People," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 303-314, 04/05.
    2. Jeffrey Carpenter & Erika Seki, 2011. "Do Social Preferences Increase Productivity? Field Experimental Evidence From Fishermen In Toyama Bay," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 49(2), pages 612-630, April.
    3. Ichniowski, Casey & Shaw, Kathryn & Prennushi, Giovanna, 1997. "The Effects of Human Resource Management Practices on Productivity: A Study of Steel Finishing Lines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 291-313, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. von Siemens, Ferdinand A. & Kosfeld, Michael, 2014. "Team production in competitive labor markets with adverse selection," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 181-198.
    2. Sarkisian, Roberto, 2017. "Team Incentives under Moral and Altruistic Preferences: Which Team to Choose?," TSE Working Papers 17-838, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    3. Antonio Cabrales & Raffaele Miniaci & Marco Piovesan & Giovanni Ponti, 2010. "Social Preferences and Strategic Uncertainty: An Experiment on Markets and Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2261-2278, December.
    4. Dur, Robert & Non, Arjan & Roelfsema, Hein, 2010. "Reciprocity and incentive pay in the workplace," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 676-686, August.
    5. von Siemens, Ferdinand A., 2013. "Intention-based reciprocity and the hidden costs of control," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 55-65.
    6. Francesca Barigozzi & Piero Tedeschi, 2015. "Credit Markets with Ethical Banks and Motivated Borrowers," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 19(3), pages 1281-1313.
    7. repec:eee:eecrev:v:98:y:2017:i:c:p:199-216 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Heinz, Matthias & Schumacher, Heiner, 2015. "Signaling cooperation," SAFE Working Paper Series 120, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
    9. Charness, Gary & Kuhn, Peter, 2011. "Lab Labor: What Can Labor Economists Learn from the Lab?," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    10. Dur, Robert & Sol, Joeri, 2010. "Social interaction, co-worker altruism, and incentives," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 293-301, July.
    11. Heinz, Matthias & Schumacher, Heiner, 2016. "Signaling Cooperation," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145648, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    12. Non, Arjan, 2012. "Gift-exchange, incentives, and heterogeneous workers," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 319-336.
    13. Antoni Cunyat Cunyat, 2016. "Crowding out effect and sorting in competitive labor markets with motivated workers," Working Papers. Serie AD 2016-06, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    14. Gill, Andrej & Heinz, Matthias & Schumacher, Heiner, 2014. "Trust, trustworthiness and selection into the financial industry," CFS Working Paper Series 458, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    15. Antonio Cabrales, 2010. "The causes and economic consequences of envy," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 1(4), pages 371-386, September.
    16. Dominik Erharter, 2013. "Screening Experts' Distributional Preferences," Working Papers 2013-27, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    17. repec:eee:jeborg:v:139:y:2017:i:c:p:196-213 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Dominik Erharter, 2012. "Credence goods markets, distributional preferences and the role of institutions," Working Papers 2012-11, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    19. Heinz, Matthias & Schumacher, Heiner, 2015. "Signaling Cooperation," CEPR Discussion Papers 10942, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • M50 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - General

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