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The Role of Task Meaning on Output in Groups: Experimental Evidence

Author

Listed:
  • Agnes Baeker
  • Mario Mechtel

    (Institute for Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the EU, University of Trier)

Abstract

This paper analyzes experimentally how the interaction of task meaning and peer presence affects work effort. We build on the experimental designs of Falk and Ichino (2006) and Ariely et al. (2008). Confirming previous results from the literature, we find positive peer effects and negative effects of low task meaning. In addition, we find that peer effects are even stronger if task meaning is low. We conclude that a peer setting is able to overcome the negative effort effect of low task meaning.

Suggested Citation

  • Agnes Baeker & Mario Mechtel, 2013. "The Role of Task Meaning on Output in Groups: Experimental Evidence," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201308, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
  • Handle: RePEc:iaa:dpaper:201308
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Salvador Contreras & Frank Badua & Mitchell Adrian, 2012. "Peer Effects on Undergraduate Business Student Performance," International Review of Economic Education, Economics Network, University of Bristol, vol. 11(1), pages 57-66.
    2. Alexandre Mas & Enrico Moretti, 2009. "Peers at Work," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 112-145, March.
    3. Ariely, Dan & Kamenica, Emir & Prelec, Drazen, 2008. "Man's search for meaning: The case of Legos," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(3-4), pages 671-677, September.
    4. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J, 2000. "Multitask Learning and the Reorganization of Work: From Tayloristic to Holistic Organization," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 353-376, July.
    5. Kim, Taejong & Lee, Ju-Ho & Lee, Young, 2008. "Mixing versus sorting in schooling: Evidence from the equalization policy in South Korea," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 697-711, December.
    6. Victor Lavy & Olmo Silva & Felix Weinhardt, 2012. "The Good, the Bad, and the Average: Evidence on Ability Peer Effects in Schools," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(2), pages 367-414.
    7. Foster, Gigi, 2006. "It's not your peers, and it's not your friends: Some progress toward understanding the educational peer effect mechanism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1455-1475, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Mechtel, Mario & Bäker, Agnes, 2015. "Peer Effects in Cheating on Task Performance," VfS Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113093, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. de Pinto Marco & Goerke Laszlo, 2019. "Efficiency Wages in Cournot-Oligopoly," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 19(4), pages 1-13, October.
    3. Agnes Baeker & Mario Mechtel, 2015. "Peer Settings Induce Cheating on Task Performance," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201506, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
    4. Jeworrek, Sabrina & Mertins, Vanessa, 2019. "Mission, motivation, and the active decision to work for a social cause," IWH Discussion Papers 10/2019, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    5. Gerhards, Leonie & Gravert, Christina, 2016. "Because of you I did not give up - How peers affect perseverance," VfS Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145691, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    6. Nikolova, Milena & Cnossen, Femke, 2020. "What makes work meaningful and why economists should care about it," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(C).
    7. Makarski, Krzysztof & Tyrowicz, Joanna, 2019. "On welfare effects of increasing retirement age," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 718-746.
    8. Institute of Economics, 2018. "Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre Forschungsbericht 2017," Working Paper Series in Economics 378, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    task meaning; peer effects; experimental economics;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • M50 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - General

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