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Clean Evidence on Peer Effects


  • Armin Falk
  • Andrea Ichino


We study subjects who were asked to fill letters into envelopes with a remuneration independent of output. In the "pair" treatment, two subjects worked at the same time in the same room, and peer effects were possible. In the "single" treatment, subjects worked alone, and peer effects were ruled out. We find evidence of peer effects in the pair treatment because the standard deviations of output are smaller within pairs than between pairs. Moreover, average output is higher in the pair treatment: thus, peer effects raise productivity. Finally, low-productivity workers are the most sensitive to the behavior of peers.
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  • Armin Falk & Andrea Ichino, 2004. "Clean Evidence on Peer Effects," Levine's Bibliography 666156000000000439, UCLA Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:cla:levrem:666156000000000439

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Andrea Ichino & Giovanni Maggi, 2000. "Work Environment and Individual Background: Explaining Regional Shirking Differentials in a Large Italian Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 1057-1090.
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    16. Bull, Clive & Schotter, Andrew & Weigelt, Keith, 1987. "Tournaments and Piece Rates: An Experimental Study," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(1), pages 1-33, February.
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    20. Giorgio Topa, 2001. "Social Interactions, Local Spillovers and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(2), pages 261-295.
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