IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cdl/ucsbec/qt7x98w91h.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Responsibility And Effort In An Experimental Labor Market

Author

Listed:
  • Charness, Gary B

Abstract

Previous indirect evidence suggests that impulses towards pro-social behavior are diminished when an external authority is responsible for an outcome. The responsibility-alleviation effect states that a shift of responsibility to an external authority dampens internal impulses toward honesty, loyalty, or generosity. In a gift-exchange experiment, we find that subjects respond with more generosity (higher effort) when wages are determined by a random process than when assigned by a third party, indicating that even a slight shift in perceived responsibility for the final payoffs can change behavior. Responsibility-alleviation can be a factor in economic environments featuring substantial personal interaction.

Suggested Citation

  • Charness, Gary B, 1999. "Responsibility And Effort In An Experimental Labor Market," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt7x98w91h, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsbec:qt7x98w91h
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.escholarship.org/uc/item/7x98w91h.pdf;origin=repeccitec
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ernst Fehr & Georg Kirchsteiger & Arno Riedl, 1993. "Does Fairness Prevent Market Clearing? An Experimental Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(2), pages 437-459.
    2. Currie, Janet & McConnell, Sheena, 1991. "Collective Bargaining in the Public Sector: The Effect of Legal Structure on Dispute Costs and Wages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 693-718, September.
    3. George A. Akerlof, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-569.
    4. Fehr, Ernst & Kirchler, Erich & Weichbold, Andreas & Gächter, Simon, 1998. "When Social Norms Overpower Competition: Gift Exchange in Experimental Labor Markets," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(2), pages 324-351, April.
    5. Hoffman, Elizabeth & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon L, 1996. "Social Distance and Other-Regarding Behavior in Dictator Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 653-660, June.
    6. Frey, Bruno S, 1993. "Does Monitoring Increase Work Effort? The Rivalry with Trust and Loyalty," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(4), pages 663-670, October.
    7. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-741, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Charness, Gary & Kuhn, Peter, 2011. "Lab Labor: What Can Labor Economists Learn from the Lab?," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 3, pages 229-330, Elsevier.
    2. Christian Koch, 2021. "Can reference points explain wage rigidity? Experimental evidence," Journal for Labour Market Research, Springer;Institute for Employment Research/ Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), vol. 55(1), pages 1-17, December.
    3. Bogliacino, Francesco & Grimalda, Gianluca & Pipke, David, 2021. "Kind or contented? An investigation of the gift exchange hypothesis in a natural field experiment in Colombia," OSF Preprints xmjaq, Center for Open Science.
    4. Fehr, Ernst & Kirchsteiger, Georg & Riedl, Arno, 1998. "Gift exchange and reciprocity in competitive experimental markets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 1-34, January.
    5. Konow, James, 1996. "A positive theory of economic fairness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 13-35, October.
    6. John A. List, 2006. "The Behavioralist Meets the Market: Measuring Social Preferences and Reputation Effects in Actual Transactions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(1), pages 1-37, February.
    7. Dufwenberg, Martin & Kirchsteiger, Georg, 2004. "A theory of sequential reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 268-298, May.
    8. Fehr, Ernst & Kirchler, Erich & Weichbold, Andreas & Gächter, Simon, 1998. "When Social Norms Overpower Competition: Gift Exchange in Experimental Labor Markets," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(2), pages 324-351, April.
    9. Brink, William & Kuang, Xi (Jason) & Majerczyk, Michael, 2021. "The effects of minimum-wage increases on wage offers, wage premiums and employee effort under incomplete contracts," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 89(C).
    10. Jonas Agell & Helge Bennmarker, 2003. "Endogenous Wage Rigidity," CESifo Working Paper Series 1081, CESifo.
    11. Faralla, Valeria & Borà, Guido & Innocenti, Alessandro & Novarese, Marco, 2020. "Promises in group decision making," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 1-11.
    12. Tetsuo Yamamori & Kazuyuki Iwata, 2023. "Wage claim detracts reciprocity in labor relations: experimental study of gift exchange games," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer;Society for Economic Science with Heterogeneous Interacting Agents, vol. 18(3), pages 573-597, July.
    13. Grossmann, Volker, 2002. "Is it rational to internalize the personal norm that one should reciprocate?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 27-48, February.
    14. Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, "undated". "Why Social Preferences Matter - The Impact of Non-Selfish Motives on Competition," IEW - Working Papers 084, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    15. Jen Shang & Rachel Croson, 2009. "A Field Experiment in Charitable Contribution: The Impact of Social Information on the Voluntary Provision of Public Goods," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(540), pages 1422-1439, October.
    16. Sohr, Tatjana, 2005. "Wenn die Karriereleiter wegbricht: Fairness und der Abbau von Hierarchieebenen (When the career ladder is removed * fairness and the elimination of hierarchical levels)," Zeitschrift für ArbeitsmarktForschung - Journal for Labour Market Research, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 38(1), pages 68-86.
    17. Hernán Bejarano & Brice Corgnet & Joaquín Gómez-Miñambres, 2019. "Labor Contracts, Gift-Exchange and Reference Wages: Your Gift Need Not Be Mine!," Working Papers 19-26, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    18. Li Chen & Hau L. Lee & Christopher S. Tang, 2022. "Supply chain fairness," Production and Operations Management, Production and Operations Management Society, vol. 31(12), pages 4304-4318, December.
    19. Uri Gneezy & John A List, 2006. "Putting Behavioral Economics to Work: Testing for Gift Exchange in Labor Markets Using Field Experiments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(5), pages 1365-1384, September.
    20. Matthias Strifler & Thomas Beissinger, 2016. "Fairness Considerations in Labor Union Wage Setting – A Theoretical Analysis," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 63(3), pages 303-330, July.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsbec:qt7x98w91h. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Lisa Schiff (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/educsus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.