On the Economic Architecture of the Workplace: Repercussions of Social Comparisons among Heterogeneous Workers
We analyze the impact on a firm’s profits and optimal wage rates, and on the distribution of workers’ earnings, when workers compare their earnings with those of coworkers. We consider a low-productivity worker who receives lower wage earnings than a high-productivity worker. When the low-productivity worker derives (dis)utility not only from his own effort but also from comparing his earnings with those of the high-productivity worker, his response to the sensing of relative deprivation is to increase the optimal level of effort. Consequently, the firm’s profits are higher, its wage rates remain unchanged, and the distribution of earnings is compressed.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Andrew E. Clark & Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2008.
"Relative Income, Happiness, and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles,"
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 46(1), pages 95-144, March.
- Clark, Andrew E. & Frijters, Paul & Shields, Michael A., 2007. "Relative Income, Happiness and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles," IZA Discussion Papers 2840, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Rosen, Sherwin, 1986.
"Prizes and Incentives in Elimination Tournaments,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 701-15, September.
- Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1979. "Relative Deprivation and the Gini Coefficient," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 321-24, May.
- Levine, David I., 1991.
"Cohesiveness, productivity, and wage dispersion,"
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization,
Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 237-255, March.
- Levine, David, 1989. "Cohesiveness, Productivity, and Wage Dispersion," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt8kd4d0p4, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
- C. Simon Fan & Oded Stark, 2007.
"A Social Proximity Explanation of the Reluctance to Assimilate,"
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(1), pages 55-63, 02.
- Fan, C. Simon & Stark, Oded, 2007. "A social proximity explanation of the reluctance to assimilate," MPRA Paper 30940, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Bull, Clive & Schotter, Andrew & Weigelt, Keith, 1987.
"Tournaments and Piece Rates: An Experimental Study,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(1), pages 1-33, February.
- Bull, Clive & Schotter, Andrew & Weigelt, Keith, 1985. "Tournaments and Piece Rates: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 85-21, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
- Oriana Bandiera & Iwan Barankay & Imran Rasul, 2010.
"Social Incentives in the Workplace,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Oxford University Press, vol. 77(2), pages 417-458.
- Mas, Alexandre & Moretti, Enrico, 2006.
"Peers at Work,"
IZA Discussion Papers
2292, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Armin Falk & Andrea Ichino, 2004.
"Clean Evidence on Peer Effects,"
666156000000000439, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Amihai Glazer, 2008. "Optimal Contracts When a Worker Envies His Boss," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 120-137, May.
- Hanming Fang & Giuseppe Moscarini, 2003.
Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers
1422, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Antonio Cabrales & Antoni Calv�-Armengol & Nicola Pavoni, 2008.
"Social Preferences, Skill Segregation, and Wage Dynamics,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 65-98.
- Antonio Cabrales & Antoni Calvó-Armengol & Nicola Pavoni, 2004. "Social Preferences, Skill Segregation and Wage Dynamics," Working Papers 181, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
- Antonio Cabrales & Antoni Calvo-Armengol & Nicola Pavoni, 2005. "Social Preferences, Skill Segregation, and Wage Dynamics," 2005 Meeting Papers 205, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Cabrales Goitia Antonio & Calvó-Armengol Antoni & Pavoni Nicola, 2007. "Social Preferences, Skill Segregation and Wage Dynamics," Working Papers 201053, Fundacion BBVA / BBVA Foundation.
- Paul Osterman, 2006. "The Wage Effects of High Performance Work Organization in Manufacturing," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 59(2), pages 187-204, January.
- BOSSERT, Walter & D'AMBROSIO, Conchita, 2004.
"Reference Groups and Individual Deprivation,"
Cahiers de recherche
2004-10, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
- Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981.
"Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-64, October.
- Barton H. Hamilton & Jack A. Nickerson & Hideo Owan, 2003. "Team Incentives and Worker Heterogeneity: An Empirical Analysis of the Impact of Teams on Productivity and Participation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(3), pages 465-497, June.
- Paul Osterman, 2006. "Wage effects of high performance work organization in manufacturing," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 59(2), pages 187-204, January.
- Akerlof, George A, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-69, November.
- John Knight & Lina Song, 2007.
"Subjective Well-being and its Determinants in Rural China,"
Economics Series Working Papers
334, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- KNIGHT, John & SONG, Lina & GUNATILAKA, Ramani, 2009. "Subjective well-being and its determinants in rural China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 635-649, December.
- Frank, Robert H, 1984. "Are Workers Paid Their Marginal Products?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 549-71, September.
- Stark, Oded & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1988. "Labour Migration as a Response to Relative Deprivation," MPRA Paper 21670, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Stark, Oded & Micevska, Maja & Mycielski, Jerzy, 2009. "Relative poverty as a determinant of migration: Evidence from Poland," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 103(3), pages 119-122, June.
- Stark, Oded, 1984. "Rural-to-Urban Migration in LDCs: A Relative Deprivation Approach," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(3), pages 475-86, April.
- Robert H. Frank, 1984. "Interdependent Preferences and the Competitive Wage Structure," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(4), pages 510-520, Winter.
- Schelling, Thomas C, 1969. "Models of Segregation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 488-93, May.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:doi:10.1086/659104. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Journals Division)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.