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Altruism, reciprocity and cooperation in the workplace

In: Handbook of the Economics of Giving, Altruism and Reciprocity

Author

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  • Rotemberg, Julio J.

Abstract

This paper surveys economic models where cooperation arises in the workplace because individuals' utility functions involve a concern for others (altruism) or a desire to respond to like with like (reciprocity). It also discusses empirical evidence which bears on the relevance of these theories. The paper considers separately the feelings employees have for their employers or their supervisors, those that employees have for others that occupy similar positions as themselves and the feelings of supervisors towards their subordinates. Altruism appears to play a role in the last two settings while reciprocity seems useful to explain the way employees react to employer actions which the employees regard as unfair.

Suggested Citation

  • Rotemberg, Julio J., 2006. "Altruism, reciprocity and cooperation in the workplace," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, in: S. Kolm & Jean Mercier Ythier (ed.),Handbook of the Economics of Giving, Altruism and Reciprocity, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 21, pages 1371-1407, Elsevier.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:givchp:2-21
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Robert Dur, 2009. "Gift Exchange in The Workplace: Money or Attention?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 550-560, 04-05.
    2. Helena Lopes & Teresa Calapez, 2011. "Exploring the sources and benefits of cooperation: The role and challenges of relational and moral goods," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 38(7), pages 607-627, June.
    3. Rotemberg, Julio J., 2008. "Minimally altruistic wages and unemployment in a matching model with monopsony," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(Supplemen), pages 97-110, October.
    4. Bryson, Alex & Barth, Erling & Dale-Olsen, Harald, 2012. "Do higher wages come at a price?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 251-263.
    5. Dur, Robert & Sol, Joeri, 2010. "Social interaction, co-worker altruism, and incentives," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 293-301, July.
    6. Balafoutas, Loukas & GarcĂ­a-Gallego, Aurora & Georgantzis, Nikolaos & Jaber-Lopez, Tarek & Mitrokostas, Evangelos, 2020. "Rehabilitation and social behavior: Experiments in prison," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 148-171.
    7. Levati, M. Vittoria & Nicholas, Aaron & Rai, Birendra, 2014. "Testing the single-peakedness of other-regarding preferences," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 197-209.
    8. Dur, Robert & Sol, Joeri, 2010. "Social interaction, co-worker altruism, and incentives," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 293-301, July.
    9. Natalia Montinari, 2010. "Reciprocity in Teams: a Behavioral Explanation for Unpaid Overtime," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0114, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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