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Unfair Pay and Health

Listed author(s):
  • Armin Falk
  • Fabian Kosse
  • Ingo Menrath
  • Pablo E. Verde
  • Johannes Siegrist

This paper investigates physiological responses to perceptions of unfair pay. We use an integrated approach exploiting complementarities between controlled lab and representative panel data. In a simple principal-agent experiment agents produce revenue by working on a tedious task. Principals decide how this revenue is allocated between themselves and their agents. Throughout the experiment we record agents' heart rate variability, which is an indicator of stress-related impaired cardiac autonomic control, and which has been shown to predict coronary heart disease in the long-run. Our findings establish a link between unfair payment and heart rate variability. Building on these findings, we further test for potential adverse health effects of unfair pay using observational data from a large representative panel data set. Complementary to our experimental findings we show a strong and significant negative association between unfair pay and health outcomes, in particular cardiovascular health.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.545955.de/diw_sp0870.pdf
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Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 870.

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Length: 30 p.
Date of creation: 2016
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp870
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Fax: xx49-30-89789-109
Web page: http://www.diw.de/en/soep
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  6. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gachter & Georg Kirchsteiger, 1997. "Reciprocity as a Contract Enforcement Device: Experimental Evidence," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 833-860, July.
  7. Armin Falk & James J. Heckman, 2009. "Lab Experiments are a Major Source of Knowledge in the Social Sciences," Working Papers 200935, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  8. Falk, Armin & Fischbacher, Urs, 2006. "A theory of reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 293-315, February.
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  10. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Newey, Whitney & Rosen, Harvey S, 1989. "The Revenues-Expenditures Nexus: Evidence from Local Government Data," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 30(2), pages 415-429, May.
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  13. Montizaan, Raymond M. & Vendrik, Maarten C.M., 2014. "Misery Loves Company: Exogenous shocks in retirement expectations and social comparison effects on subjective well-being," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 1-26.
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  23. McKenzie, David, 2012. "Beyond baseline and follow-up: The case for more T in experiments," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 210-221.
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  29. repec:fth:prinin:298 is not listed on IDEAS
  30. Armin Falk & Ernst Fehr & Christian Zehnder, 2006. "Fairness Perceptions and Reservation Wages—the Behavioral Effects of Minimum Wage Laws," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1347-1381.
  31. Alan D. Lopez & Colin D. Mathers & Majid Ezzati & Dean T. Jamison & Christopher J. L. Murray, 2006. "Global Burden of Disease and Risk Factors," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7039.
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