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

  • Gary Charness


    (Department of Economics, University of California - University of California, Santa Barbara)

  • Marie Claire Villeval


    (GATE - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - Ecole Normale Supérieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines)

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 HAL in its series Post-Print with number halshs-00371984.

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Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published, The American Economic Review, 2009, 99, 3, pp. 956-978
Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00371984
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