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Costs of Control in Groups

  • Gerhard Riener
  • Simon Wiederhold


This paper explores the role of social groups in explaining the reaction to control.We propose a simple model with a principal using control devices and a controlledagent, which incorporates the existence of social groups. Testing experimentally theconjectures derived from the model and related literature, we find that agents in socialgroups (i) perform more than other (no-group) agents; (ii) expect less control thanno-group agents; (iii) decrease their performance substantially when actual controlexceeds their expectation, while no-group agents do not react; (iv) do not reciprocatewhen facing less control than expected, while no-group agents do.

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Paper provided by Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich in its series Ifo Working Paper Series with number Ifo Working Paper No. 113.

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Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ifowps:_113
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  1. Wendelin Schnedler & Radovan Vadovic, 2007. "Legitimacy of Control," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 07/178, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  2. Charness, Gary & Frechette, Guillaume R & Kagel, John H, 2002. "How Robust is Laboratory Gift Exchange?," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt8qq4k3ph, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  3. Dohmen Thomas & Falk Armin, 2010. "You get what you pay for: Incentives and Selection in the Education System," Research Memorandum 011, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  4. Tore Ellingsen & Magnus Johannesson, 2008. "Pride and Prejudice: The Human Side of Incentive Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 990-1008, June.
  5. Ferdinand von Siemens, 2011. "Intention-Based Reciprocity and the Hidden Costs of Control," CESifo Working Paper Series 3553, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Charness, Gary B & Rabin, Matthew, 2001. "Understanding Social Preferences With Simple Tests," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt0dc3k4m5, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  7. Dickinson, David L. & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2004. "Does Monitoring Decrease Work Effort? The Complementarity Between Agency and Crowding-Out Theories," IZA Discussion Papers 1222, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Ferdinand von Siemens, 2011. "Intention-Based Reciprocity and the Hidden Costs of Control," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-115/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  9. Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Dufwenberg, Martin & Muren, Astri, 2006. "Generosity, anonymity, gender," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 42-49, September.
  11. Sliwka, Dirk, 2006. "Trust as a Signal of a Social Norm and the Hidden Costs of Incentive Schemes," IZA Discussion Papers 2293, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Shaun P. Hargreaves Heap & Daniel John Zizzo, 2009. "The Value of Groups," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 295-323, March.
  13. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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