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An experimental test of career concerns

Holmström’s (1982/99) career concerns model has become an important workhorse for the analysis of agency issues in many fields. The underlying signal jamming argument requires players to use information in a Bayesian way – which may or may not reasonably approximate real-life decision makers’ behavior. Testing this theory with field data is dicult since typically little is known about the information that individuals base their decisions on, and this explains the dearth of empirical studies. We provide experimental evidence that the signal jamming mechanism works in a laboratory setting. Moreover, subjects’ beliefs fit remarkably well requirements imposed by the Bayesian equilibrium concept.

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File URL: http://www.rhul.ac.uk/economics/Research/WorkingPapers/pdf/dpe0431.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Royal Holloway University of London in its series Royal Holloway, University of London: Discussion Papers in Economics with number 04/31.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2004
Date of revision: Nov 2004
Handle: RePEc:hol:holodi:0431
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  1. Mirman, L.J. & Samuelson, L. & Schlee, E.E., 1991. "Strategic Information Manupulation in Duopolies," Papers 9137, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
  2. Gibbons, Robert & Murphy, Kevin J, 1992. "Optimal Incentive Contracts in the Presence of Career Concerns: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 468-505, June.
  3. Ernst Fehr & Georg Kirchsteiger & Arno Riedl, 1993. "Does Fairness Prevent Market Clearing? An Experimental Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(2), pages 437-459.
  4. Dorothea Kuebler, Wieland Mueller and Hans Normann, 2004. "Job market signaling and screening: An experimental comparison," Royal Holloway, University of London: Discussion Papers in Economics 04/02, Department of Economics, Royal Holloway University of London, revised Apr 2004.
  5. Fehr, Ernst, et al, 1998. "When Social Norms Overpower Competition: Gift Exchange in Experimental Labor Markets," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(2), pages 324-51, April.
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  9. Irlenbusch, Bernd & Sliwka, Dirk, 2003. "Career Concerns in a Simple Experimental Labour Market," IZA Discussion Papers 855, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Ben Lockwood & Eric Le Borgne, 2003. "Do Elections Always Motivate Incumbents? Experimentation vs. Career Concerns," IMF Working Papers 03/57, International Monetary Fund.
  11. Ernst Fehr & Armin Falk, 2003. "Wage Rigidity in a Competitive Incomplete Contract Market," Labor and Demography 0305001, EconWPA.
  12. Gachter, Simon & Falk, Armin, 2002. " Reputation and Reciprocity: Consequences for the Labour Relation," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(1), pages 1-26.
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  15. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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