Benefit packages and individual behavior: choices over discrete goods with multiple attributes
Managers and employers use an array of rewards to attract and retain quality employees. An increasingly significant component of the overall compensation is the employee's benefits package. Flexible packages offer more choice but also incur higher decision costs. We conduct an experiment on choices over stylized benefits packages where discrete 'goods' have multiple attributes affecting the payoff function. We investigate the degree to which these complications affect choices. Eighty subjects play an individual-choice decision-cost game where they are implicitly asked to solve a complex programming problem. Our main results are that: (a) individual subjects respond to the relative tradeoff between the attributes, (b) some combinations of the attributes (apparently) entice subjects to search more and thus earn more, and (c) most subjects appear to adopt a heuristic that approximates the optimal solution. Further, subjects appear to value the right to make choices, as they rarely choose a fixed payoff option with a known payoff and low decision cost, even when the fixed payoff is 80% of the maximum possible under the decision-making task. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Volume (Year): 27 (2006)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/7976|
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.:
- Smith, Vernon L & Walker, James M, 1993. "Monetary Rewards and Decision Cost in Experimental Economics," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(2), pages 245-261, April.
- Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004.
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
- Glenn Harrison & John List, 2004. "Field experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00058, The Field Experiments Website.
- John List & David Reiley, 2008. "Field experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00091, The Field Experiments Website.
- Hausman, Jerry, 2015. "Specification tests in econometrics," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 38(2), pages 112-134.
- Hausman, Jerry A, 1978. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1251-1271, November.
- J. A. Hausman, 1976. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Working papers 185, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Anabela Botelho & Glenn W. Harrison & Marc A. Hirsch & Elisabet E. Rutstrom, 2001. "Bargaining behavior, demographics and nationality: a reconsideration of the experimental evidence," NIMA Working Papers 16, Núcleo de Investigação em Microeconomia Aplicada (NIMA), Universidade do Minho.
- Chris Starmer, 2000. "Developments in Non-expected Utility Theory: The Hunt for a Descriptive Theory of Choice under Risk," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 332-382, June.
- Smith, Vernon L, 1976. "Experimental Economics: Induced Value Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 274-279, May.
- Keeney,Ralph L. & Raiffa,Howard, 1993. "Decisions with Multiple Objectives," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521438834, October.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
- Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
- Vernon L. Smith, 1980. "Relevance of Laboratory Experiments to Testing Resource Allocation Theory," NBER Chapters,in: Evaluation of Econometric Models, pages 345-377 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Irwin, Julie R, et al, 1998. "Payoff Dominance vs. Cognitive Transparency in Decision Making," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(2), pages 272-285, April.
- Elliott, Steven R & McKee, Michael, 1995. "Collective Risk Decisions in the Presence of Many Risks," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(4), pages 541-554.
- Jan Kmenta & James B. Ramsey, 1980. "Evaluation of Econometric Models," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kmen80-1, Enero-Jun. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)