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Workers' Participation in Wage Setting and Opportunistic Behavior: Evidence from a Gift-Exchange Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Jörg Franke

    () (University of Dortmund (TU), Department of Economics)

  • Ruslan Gurtoviy

    (University of Trier)

  • Vanessa Mertins

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

Abstract

Our study analyzes the consequences of workers' participation in the wage setting process on effort exertion. The experimental design is based on a modified giftexchange game where the degree of workers’ involvement in the wage setting process is systematically varied among the workers. The experimental data reveals that workers' participation leads actually to a decline in effort exertion which can be explained by negative reciprocity of the respective worker. These results put some recently observed positive effects from workers' participation in experimental labor markets into perspective and are more in line with the ambiguous results from empirical studies.

Suggested Citation

  • Jörg Franke & Ruslan Gurtoviy & Vanessa Mertins, 2014. "Workers' Participation in Wage Setting and Opportunistic Behavior: Evidence from a Gift-Exchange Experiment," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201407, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
  • Handle: RePEc:iaa:dpaper:201407
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. Gary Charness & Ramon Cobo-Reyes & Natalia Jimenez & Juan A. Lacomba & Francisco Lagos, 2012. "The Hidden Advantage of Delegation: Pareto Improvements in a Gift Exchange Game," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 2358-2379, August.
    5. Philip Mellizo & Jeffrey Carpenter & Peter Hans Matthews, 2014. "Workplace democracy in the lab," Industrial Relations Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(4), pages 313-328, July.
    6. Gächter, Simon & Thöni, Christian, 2010. "Social comparison and performance: Experimental evidence on the fair wage-effort hypothesis," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 531-543, December.
    7. Ernst Fehr & Armin Falk, 1999. "Wage Rigidity in a Competitive Incomplete Contract Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(1), pages 106-134, February.
    8. Charness, Gary, 2000. "Responsibility and effort in an experimental labor market," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 375-384, July.
    9. Dufwenberg, Martin & Kirchsteiger, Georg, 2004. "A theory of sequential reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 268-298, May.
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    11. R. Lynn Hannan & John H. Kagel & Donald V. Moser, 2002. "Partial Gift Exchange in an Experimental Labor Market: Impact of Subject Population Differences, Productivity Differences, and Effort Requests on Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 923-951, October.
    12. 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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    14. Brice Corgnet & Roberto Hernán-González, 2011. "Don't Ask Me If You Will Not Listen: The Dilemma of Participative Decision Making," Working Papers 11-04, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
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    16. Jeworrek, Sabrina & Mertins, Vanessa, 2014. "Do Self-Determined Wages Really Improve Employees Performance? Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100462, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Sabrina Jeworrek & Vanessa Mertins, 2014. "Wage Delegation in the Field," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201408, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
    2. Marco Faillo & Costanza Piovanelli, 2017. "Wage delegation and intrinsic motivation: an experimental study," CEEL Working Papers 1701, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    3. Mertins Vanessa & Albert Max, 2015. "Does Participation Increase Outcome Acceptance? Evidence from a Power-to-take Experiment," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 235(6), pages 584-607, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    participation; labor market; gift-exchange game; personnel economics; reciprocity;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects
    • M55 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Contracting Devices

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