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Why Real Leisure Really Matters: Incentive Effects on Real Effort in the Laboratory

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Listed:
  • Brice Corgnet

    (Argyros School of Business and Economics, Chapman University)

  • Roberto Hernán-González

    (Universidad de Granada)

  • Eric Schniter

    (Economic Science Institute, Chapman University)

Abstract

On-the-job leisure is a pervasive feature of the modern workplace. We studied its impact on work performance in a laboratory experiment by either allowing or restricting Internet access. We used a 2×2 experimental design in which subjects completing real-effort work tasks could earn cash according to either individual- or team-production incentive schemes. Under team pay, production levels were significantly lower when Internet browsing was available than when it was not. Under individual pay, however, no differences in production levels were observed between the treatment in which Internet was available and the treatment in which it was not. In line with standard incentive theory, individual pay outperformed team pay across all periods of the experiment when Internet browsing was available. This was not the case, however, when Internet browsing was unavailable. These results demonstrate that the integration of on-the-job leisure activities into an experimental labor design is crucial for uncovering incentive effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Brice Corgnet & Roberto Hernán-González & Eric Schniter, 2013. "Why Real Leisure Really Matters: Incentive Effects on Real Effort in the Laboratory," Working Papers 13-22, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:chu:wpaper:13-22
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Incentive; Free riding; Internet access; Experimental method;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

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