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Measuring Costly Effort Using the Slider Task

Author

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  • Gill, David

    () (Purdue University)

  • Prowse, Victoria L.

    () (Purdue University)

Abstract

Using real effort to implement costly activities increases the likelihood that the motivations that drive effort provision in real life carry over to the laboratory. However, unobserved differences between subjects in the cost of real effort make quantitative prediction problematic. In this paper we present the slider task, which was designed by us to overcome the drawbacks of real effort tasks. The slider task allows the researcher to collect precise and repeated observations of effort provision from the same subjects in a short time frame. The resulting high-quality panel data allow sophisticated statistical analysis. We illustrate these advantages in two ways. First, we show how to use panel data from the slider task to improve precision by controlling for persistent unobserved heterogeneity. Second, we show how to estimate effort costs at the subject level by exploiting within-subject variation in incentives across repetitions of the slider task. We also provide z-Tree code and practical guidance to help researchers implement the slider task.

Suggested Citation

  • Gill, David & Prowse, Victoria L., 2018. "Measuring Costly Effort Using the Slider Task," IZA Discussion Papers 11411, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp11411
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    Cited by:

    1. Chen, Si & Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah, 2018. "Looking at the bright side: The motivation value of overconfidence," DICE Discussion Papers 291, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    experimental methodology; real effort; effort provision; cost of effort; slider task; design of laboratory experiments; unobserved heterogeneity;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General

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