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Aging and Attitudes Towards Strategic Uncertainty and Competition: An Artefactual Field Experiment in a Swiss Bank

Author

Listed:
  • Thierry Madiès

    () (University of Fribourg, Bd de Pérolles 90, CH-1700 Fribourg, Switzerland)

  • Marie-Claire Villeval

    () (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69007, France ; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne,F-69130 Ecully, France)

  • Malgorzata Wasmer

    () (University of Fribourg, Bd de Pérolles 90, CH-1700 Fribourg, Switzerland)

Abstract

We study the attitudes of junior and senior employees towards strategic uncertainty and competition, by means of a market entry game inspired by Camerer and Lovallo (1999). Seniors exhibit higher entry rates compared to juniors, especially when earnings depend on relative performance. This difference persists after controlling for attitudes towards non-strategic uncertainty and for beliefs on others’ competitiveness and ability. Social image matters, as evidenced by the fact that seniors enter more when they predict others enter more and when they are matched with a majority of juniors. This contradicts the stereotype of risk averse and less competitive older employees.

Suggested Citation

  • Thierry Madiès & Marie-Claire Villeval & Malgorzata Wasmer, 2012. "Aging and Attitudes Towards Strategic Uncertainty and Competition: An Artefactual Field Experiment in a Swiss Bank," Working Papers 1217, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
  • Handle: RePEc:gat:wpaper:1217
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    Keywords

    Aging; risk; ambiguity; competitiveness; self-image; confidence; experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • M5 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics

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