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

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  • Thierry Madiès

    () (Department of Economics - University of Fribourg - University of Fribourg)

  • Marie Claire Villeval

    () (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Malgorzata Wasmer

    (Department of Economics - University of Fribourg - University of Fribourg)

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 halshs-00702579, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00702579 Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00702579
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    More about this item

    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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