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Putting reciprocity to work - positive versus negative responses in the field

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  • Puppe Clemens
  • Sebastian Kube
  • Michel Marechal

Abstract

We study the role of reciprocity in a labor market field experiment. In a recent paper, Gneezy and List (2006) investigate the impact of gift exchange in this context and find that it has only a transient effect on long run outcomes. Extending their work to examine both positive and negative reciprocity, we find consonant evidence in the positive reciprocity condition: the gift does not work well in the long run (if at all). Yet, in the negative reciprocity treatment we observe much stronger effects: a wage reduction has a significant and lasting negative impact on efforts. Together, these results highlight the asymmetry of positive and negative reciprocity that exists in the field, and provide an indication of the relative importance of each in the long run.

Suggested Citation

  • Puppe Clemens & Sebastian Kube & Michel Marechal, 2006. "Putting reciprocity to work - positive versus negative responses in the field," Natural Field Experiments 00291, The Field Experiments Website.
  • Handle: RePEc:feb:natura:00291
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    9. Agell, Jonas & Bennmarker, Helge, 2003. "Endogenous Wage Rigidity," Research Papers in Economics 2003:10, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dur, Robert & Roelfsema, Hein, 2010. "Social exchange and common agency in organizations," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 55-63, January.
    2. Andreas Nicklisch & Tobias Salz, 2008. "Reciprocity and status in a virtual field experiment," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2008_37, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    3. Ernst Fehr & Martin Brown & Christian Zehnder, 2009. "On Reputation: A Microfoundation of Contract Enforcement and Price Rigidity," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(536), pages 333-353, March.
    4. Valeria Faralla & Guido Borà & Alessandro Innocenti & Marco Novarese, 2018. "Promises in Group Decision Making," Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory University of Siena 051, University of Siena.
    5. Gerald Eisenkopf & Urs Fischbacher, 2015. "Naïve Responses to Kind Delegation," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 36(7), pages 487-498, October.
    6. Michel Marechal & Christian Thoni, 2007. "Do managers reciprocate? Field experimental evidence from a competitive market," Natural Field Experiments 00310, The Field Experiments Website.
    7. Kim, Min-Taec & Slonim, Robert, 2012. "The Multi-Dimensional Effects of Reciprocity on Worker Effort: Evidence from a Hybrid Field-Laboratory Labor Market Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 6410, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Florian Englmaier & Stephen Leider, 2012. "Contractual and Organizational Structure with Reciprocal Agents," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 146-183, May.
    9. Charness, Gary & Kuhn, Peter, 2011. "Lab Labor: What Can Labor Economists Learn from the Lab?," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    10. Klaus M. Schmidt, 2011. "Social Preferences and Competition," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43, pages 207-231, August.
    11. Shchetinin, Oleg, 2009. "Contracting under Reciprocal Altruism," TSE Working Papers 09-078, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    12. Saima Mahmood & Asad Zaman, 2010. "Monetary and Non-monetary Gift Exchange," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 49(4), pages 719-740.
    13. Vera Angelova & Tobias Regner, 2012. "Do voluntary payments to advisors improve the quality of financial advice? An experimental sender-receiver game," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-011, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    14. Sascha O. Becker & Dolores Messer & Stefan C. Wolter, 2013. "A Gift is Not Always a Gift: Heterogeneity and Long-term Effects in a Gift Exchange Experiment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 80(318), pages 345-371, April.
    15. Angelova, Vera & Regner, Tobias, 2013. "Do voluntary payments to advisors improve the quality of financial advice? An experimental deception game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 205-218.
    16. Emanuela Lezzi & Piers Fleming & Daniel John Zizzo, 2015. "Does it matter which effort task you use? A comparison of four effort tasks when agents compete for a prize," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 15-05, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    17. Bellemare, Charles & Shearer, Bruce S., 2007. "Gift Exchange within a Firm: Evidence from a Field Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 2696, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    18. Ohana, Marc, 2009. "La réciprocité sur le marché du travail : les limites du laboratoire," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 85(2), pages 239-256, juin.
    19. Chong, Sophia & Guillen, Pablo, 2012. "The discreet charm of the collective contract," Working Papers 2012-03, University of Sydney, School of Economics.
    20. Bellemare, Charles & Shearer, Bruce, 2009. "Gift giving and worker productivity: Evidence from a firm-level experiment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 233-244, September.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General

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