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

Author

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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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Brice Corgnet & Joaquín Gómez-Miñambres & Roberto Hernán-Gonzalez, 2016. "Goal Setting in the Principal-Agent Model: Weak Incentives for Strong Performance," Working Papers 1628, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    2. Christoph Bühren & Maria Daskalakis, 2015. "Do not incentivize eco-friendly behavior - Go for a competition to go green!," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201534, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    3. Felipe A. Araujo & Erin Carbone & Lynn Conell-Price & Marli W. Dunietz & Ania Jaroszewicz & Rachel Landsman & Diego Lamé & Lise Vesterlund & Stephanie W. Wang & Alistair J. Wilson, 2016. "The slider task: an example of restricted inference on incentive effects," Journal of the Economic Science Association, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 2(1), pages 1-12, May.
    4. Sonntag, Axel & Zizzo, Daniel John, 2017. "Accountability one step removed," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168235, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    5. Bejarano, Hernán & Green, Ellen P. & Rassenti, Stephen, 2017. "Payment scheme self-selection in the credence goods market: An experimental study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 396-403.
    6. Simon Gächter & Lingbo Huang & Martin Sefton, 2016. "Combining “real effort” with induced effort costs: the ball-catching task," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(4), pages 687-712, December.
    7. Brice Corgnet & Roberto Hernán-González, 2015. "Revisiting the Tradeoff between Risk and Incentives: The Shocking Effect of Random Shocks," Working Papers 15-05, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    8. Barron, Kai & Gravert, Christina, 2018. "Confidence and Career Choices: An Experiment," Working Papers in Economics 715, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    9. Nicolas Jacquemet & Olivier L’Haridon & Isabelle Vialle, 2014. "Marché du travail, évaluation et économie expérimentale," Revue française d'économie, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(1), pages 189-226.
    10. repec:spr:schmbr:v:70:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s41464-018-0045-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Barron, Kai & Gravert, Christina, 2018. "Beliefs and actions: How a shift in confidence affects choices," MPRA Paper 84743, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Natalia Jiménez Jiménez & Elena Molis & Ángel Solano García, "undated". "The Effect of Initial Inequality on Meritocracy. A Voting Experiment on Tax Redistribution," ThE Papers 18/01, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
    13. Rubin, Jared & Samek, Anya & Sheremeta, Roman, 2016. "Incentivizing Quantity and Quality of Output: An Experimental Investigation of the Quantity-Quality Trade-off," MPRA Paper 69080, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Köhler, Katrin & Pagel, Beatrice & Rau, Holger A., 2015. "How worker participation affects reciprocity under minimum remuneration policies: Experimental evidence," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 267, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    15. repec:eee:gamebe:v:107:y:2018:i:c:p:329-344 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. repec:eee:eecrev:v:101:y:2018:i:c:p:528-545 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Timo Henckel & Gordon Menzies & Peter Moffat & Daniel J. Zizzo, 2017. "Sticky Belief Adjustment: A Double Hurdle Model and Experimental Evidence," Working Paper Series 40, Economics Discipline Group, UTS Business School, University of Technology, Sydney.
    18. Giuseppe Danese & Luigi Mittone, 2015. "Trust and trustworthiness in experimental organizations," CEEL Working Papers 1501, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    19. Brice Corgnet & Ludivine Martin & Peguy Ndodjang & Angela Sutan, 2015. "On the Merit of Equal Pay: When Influence Activities Interact with Incentive Setting," Working Papers 15-09, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    20. Goerg, Sebastian J. & Kube, Sebastian & Radbruch, Jonas, 2017. "The Effectiveness of Incentive Schemes in the Presence of Implicit Effort Costs," IZA Discussion Papers 10546, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    21. Jordi Brandts & Brice Corgnet & Roberto Hernán-González & José M. Ortiz & Carles Solà, 2018. "A ‘threat’ is a ‘Threat’: Incentive Effects of Firing Threats with Varying Degrees of Performance Information," Working Papers 1023, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    22. Koch, Alexander K. & Nafziger, Julia, 2016. "Gift exchange, control, and cyberloafing: A real-effort experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 131(PA), pages 409-426.
    23. Brice Corgnet & Roberto Hernán-González & Matthew W. McCarter, 2015. "The Role of the Decision-Making Regime on Cooperation in a Workgroup Social Dilemma: An Examination of Cyberloafing," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(4), pages 1-16, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Incentive; Free riding; Internet access; Experimental method;

    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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