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Timing of Kindness - Evidence from a Field Experiment

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  • Axel Ockenfels
  • Dirk Sliwka
  • Peter Werner

Abstract

We conduct a field experiment in a naturally occurring labor environment and track whether the performance of workers responds to unexpected wage increases. Specifically, we investigate how the timing of wage increases affects efforts. We find that workers’ performance is about 11% higher for the same total wage when their wage is increased in two steps as opposed to a single increase at the outset. Moreover, workers are more honest and are more willing to do voluntary extra work after surprising wage increases compared to a baseline condition without increases.

Suggested Citation

  • Axel Ockenfels & Dirk Sliwka & Peter Werner, 2014. "Timing of Kindness - Evidence from a Field Experiment," CESifo Working Paper Series 4885, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4885
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. John A. List & Fatemeh Momeni, 2017. "When Corporate Social Responsibility Backfires: Theory and Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 24169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Sliwka, Dirk & Werner, Peter, 2016. "How Do Agents React to Dynamic Wage Increases? An Experimental Study," IZA Discussion Papers 9855, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. repec:eee:jeborg:v:146:y:2018:i:c:p:116-140 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:kap:expeco:v:21:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10683-017-9536-1 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    gift exchange; positive reciprocity; field experiment; honesty;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

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