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Altruism, reciprocity and cooperation in the workplace

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

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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. Sarkisian, Roberto, 2017. "Team Incentives under Moral and Altruistic Preferences: Which Team to Choose?," TSE Working Papers 17-838, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    4. Sauermann, Jan, 2015. "Worker Reciprocity and the Returns to Training: Evidence from a Field Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 9179, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Matthieu Chemin & Joost DeLaat & André Kurmann, 2011. "Reciprocity in Labor Relations: Evidence from a Field Experiment with Long-Term Relationships," Cahiers de recherche 1127, CIRPEE.
    6. Davide Proserpio & Wendy Xu & Georgios Zervas, 2018. "You get what you give: theory and evidence of reciprocity in the sharing economy," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 371-407, December.
    7. Wendong Deng & George Hendrikse, 2018. "Social interactions and product quality: the value of pooling in cooperative entrepreneurial networks," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 50(4), pages 749-761, April.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. Louis Putterman, 2009. "Human Nature, Communication And Trust," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 80(1), pages 119-131, March.
    12. Dur, Robert & Sol, Joeri, 2010. "Social interaction, co-worker altruism, and incentives," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 293-301, July.
    13. Balafoutas, Loukas & García-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.
    14. 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.
    15. Roberto Sarkisian, 2017. "Team Incentives under Moral and Altruistic Preferences: Which Team to Choose?," Games, MDPI, vol. 8(3), pages 1-24, September.
    16. David Reinstein & Joon Song, 2012. "Efficient Consumer Altruism and Fair Trade Products," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(1), pages 213-241, March.
    17. Colleen M. Boland & Corinna Ewelt-Knauer & Julia Schneider, 2022. "The gift that keeps on giving: corporate giving and excessive risk-taking," Journal of Business Economics, Springer, vol. 92(3), pages 355-396, April.
    18. Vásquez, Jorge & Weretka, Marek, 2021. "Co-worker altruism and unemployment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 224-239.
    19. Natalia Montinari, 2010. "Reciprocity in Teams: a Behavioral Explanation for Unpaid Overtime," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0114, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
    20. Natalia Montinari, 2011. "The Dark Side of Reciprocity," Jena Economic Research Papers 2011-052, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.

    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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