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Do Informal Transfers Induce Lower Efforts? Evidence from Lab-in-the-Field Experiments in Rural Mexico

Author

Listed:
  • Ingela Alger

    (CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, TSE - Toulouse School of Economics - UT1 - Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

  • Laura Juarez

    (El Colegio de Mexico - El Colegio de México)

  • Miriam Juarez-Torres

    (Banco de Mexico)

  • Josepa Miquel-Florensa

    (UT1 - Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées, TSE - Toulouse School of Economics - UT1 - Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

Abstract

How do informal transfers affect work incentives? The question matters in developing countries, where labor markets are intertwined with transfer networks. The tax-and-subsidy component of transfers would dilute work incentives, but their prosocial element could encourage people to work harder. Such crosscurrents are hard to disentangle because participation in informal networks is likely endogenous. We tackle this problem with a lab-in-the-field experiment that uses a real-effort task. Our main finding is that participants do not reduce their effort in the presence of transfers. This suggests that the impact of informal transfers may extend beyond just the sharing of risk.

Suggested Citation

  • Ingela Alger & Laura Juarez & Miriam Juarez-Torres & Josepa Miquel-Florensa, 2020. "Do Informal Transfers Induce Lower Efforts? Evidence from Lab-in-the-Field Experiments in Rural Mexico," Post-Print hal-03096129, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-03096129
    DOI: 10.1086/702858
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03096129
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    Cited by:

    1. Alger, Ingela & Juarez, Laura & Juarez-Torres, Miriam & Miquel-Florensa, Josepa, 2020. "Do women contribute more effort than men to a real public good?," IAST Working Papers 20-103, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse (IAST).
    2. Hadnes, Myriam & Kosfeld, Michael & Nilgen, Marco & Vollan, Björn, 2021. "The Fetters of the Sib - An Experimental Study in Burkina Faso," CEPR Discussion Papers 15876, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. World Bank Group, 2015. "Tanzania Mainland Poverty Assessment," World Bank Publications - Reports 22021, The World Bank Group.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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