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Cooperation and Competition in Intergenerational Experiments in the Field and the Laboratory

  • Gary Charness

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2127 North Hall, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9210)

  • Marie-Claire Villeval

    ()

    (University Lyon 2, Lyon, F-69007, France; CNRS, GATE, 93, Chemin de Mouilles Ecully, F- 69130, France, IZA, Bonn, Germany, and CCP, Aarhus, Denmark)

There is economic pressure towards the postponement of the retirement age, but employers are still reluctant to employ older workers. We investigate the comparative behavior of juniors and seniors in experiments conducted both onsite with the employees of two large firms and in a conventional laboratory environment with students and retirees. We show that seniors are no more risk averse than juniors and are typically more cooperative ; both juniors and working seniors respond strongly to competition. The implication is that it may be beneficial to define additional incentives near the end of the career to motivate and retain older workers.

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Paper provided by Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure in its series Working Papers with number 0931.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gat:wpaper:0931
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