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Intention-Based Reciprocity and the Hidden Costs of Control

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  • Ferdinand von Siemens

Abstract

Empirical research suggests that - rather than improving incentives - exerting control can reduce workers' performance by eroding motivation. The present paper shows that intention-based reciprocity can cause such motivational crowding-out if individuals differ in their propensity for reciprocity and preferences are private information. Not being controlled might then be considered to be kind, because not everybody reciprocates not being controlled with high effort. This argument stands in contrast to existing theoretical wisdom on motivational crowding-out that is primarily based on signaling models.

Suggested Citation

  • Ferdinand von Siemens, 2011. "Intention-Based Reciprocity and the Hidden Costs of Control," CESifo Working Paper Series 3553, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3553
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ester Manna & Alessandro De Chiara, 2016. "Delegation with a Reciprocal Agent," UB Economics Working Papers 2016/346, Universitat de Barcelona, Facultat d'Economia i Empresa, UB Economics.
    2. Bierbrauer, Felix & Netzer, Nick, 2016. "Mechanism design and intentions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 557-603.
    3. Botond Köszegi, 2014. "Behavioral Contract Theory," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 52(4), pages 1075-1118, December.
    4. Schnedler, Wendelin & Vanberg, Christoph, 2014. "Playing ‘hard to get’: An economic rationale for crowding out of intrinsically motivated behavior," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 106-115.
    5. Masella, Paolo & Meier, Stephan & Zahn, Philipp, 2014. "Incentives and group identity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 12-25.
    6. Katrin Schmelz & Anthony Ziegelmeyer, 2015. "Social Distance and Control Aversion: Evidence from the Internet and the Laboratory," TWI Research Paper Series 100, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
    7. Riener, Gerhard & Wiederhold, Simon, 2016. "Team building and hidden costs of control," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 1-18.
    8. Dominguez-Martinez, Silvia & Sloof, Randolph & von Siemens, Ferdinand A., 2014. "Monitored by your friends, not your foes: Strategic ignorance and the delegation of real authority," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 289-305.
    9. Luca Livio, 2018. "Friends or Foes? Optimal Incentives for Reciprocal Agents," Working Papers ECARES 2018-03, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    10. Wiederhold, Simon & Riener, Gerhard, 2012. "Hidden Costs of Control in Social Groups," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 65407, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    11. Kajackaite, Agne & Werner, Peter, 2015. "The incentive effects of performance requirements – A real effort experiment," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 84-94.
    12. Sebald, Alexander & Walzl, Markus, 2015. "Optimal contracts based on subjective performance evaluations and reciprocity," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 62-76.
    13. Gerhard Riener & Simon Wiederhold, 2011. "Costs of Control in Groups," ifo Working Paper Series 113, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    extrinsic and intrinsic motivation; crowding-out; intention-based reciprocity; incomplete information; hidden costs of control;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General

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