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Worker Self-Selection and the Profits from Cooperation

  • Michael Kosfeld
  • Ferdinand A. von Siemens

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.

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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Journal of the European Economic Association.

Volume (Year): 7 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2-3 (04-05)
Pages: 573-582

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:7:y:2009:i:2-3:p:573-582
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Carpenter, Jeffrey P. & Seki, Erika, 2005. "Do Social Preferences Increase Productivity? Field Experimental Evidence from Fishermen in Toyama Bay," IZA Discussion Papers 1697, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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