From Team Spirit to Jealousy: The Pitfalls of Too Much Transparency
Free riding in team production arises because individual effort is not perfectly observable. It seems natural to suppose that greater transparency would enhance incentives. Therefore, it is puzzling that team production often lacks transparency about individual contributions despite negligible costs for providing such information. We offer a rationale for this by demonstrating that transparency can actually hurt incentives. In the presence of career concerns information on the quality of task execution improves incentives while sustaining a cooperative team spirit. In contrast, making the identity of individual contributors observable induces sabotage behavior that looks like jealousy but arises purely from signal jamming by less successful team members. Our results rationalize the conspicuous lack of transparency in team settings with strong career concerns (e.g., co-authorship, architecture, and patent applications) and contribute to explaining the popularity of group incentive schemes in firms.
|Date of creation:||Jul 2005|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany|
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org
|Order Information:|| Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Andrea Prat, 2004.
"The wrong kind of transparency,"
LSE Research Online Documents on Economics
24712, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Andrea Prat, 2002. "The Wrong Kind of Transparency," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series 439, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
- Andrea Prat, 2002. "The wrong kind of transparency," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3679, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Prat, Andrea, 2003. "The Wrong Kind of Transparency," CEPR Discussion Papers 3859, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Ragan Jr, James F. & Warren, John T. & Bratsberg, Bernt, 1999. "How similar are pay structures in 'similar' departments of economics?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 347-360, June.
- Jeon, Seonghoon, 1996. "Moral hazard and reputational concerns in teams: Implications for organizational choice," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 297-315, May.
- Meyer, Margaret A & Vickers, John, 1997.
"Performance Comparisons and Dynamic Incentives,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(3), pages 547-581, June.
- Jean Hindriks & Philippe De Donder, 2001.
"The Politics of Redistributive Social Insurance,"
444, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
- HINDRIKS, Jean & DE DONDER, Philippe, 2001. "The politics of redistributive social insurance," CORE Discussion Papers 2001054, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
- DE DONDER, Philippe & HINDRIKS, Jean, "undated". "The politics of redistributive social insurance," CORE Discussion Papers RP 1674, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
- Mathias Dewatripont & Ian Jewitt & Jean Tirole, 1999.
"The Economics of Career Concerns, Part I: Comparing Information Structures,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 183-198.
- Mathias Dewatripont & Ian Jewitt & Jean Tirole, 1999. "The economics of career concerns: part 1 :comparing information structures," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9617, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Sauer, Raymond D, 1988. "Estimates of the Returns to Quality and Coauthorship in Economic Academia," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 855-866, August.
- Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1996.
"Satisfaction and comparison income,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 359-381, September.
- Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1993. "Satisfaction and Comparison Income," Economics Discussion Papers 10018, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
- Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1994. "Satisfaction and comparison income," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9408, CEPREMAP.
- Moore, William J & Newman, Robert J & Turnbull, Geoffrey K, 2001. "Reputational Capital and Academic Pay," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(4), pages 663-671, October.
- Lazear, Edward P, 1989. "Pay Equality and Industrial Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 561-580, June.
- Jacques Crémer, 1995. "Arm's Length Relationships," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(2), pages 275-295.
- Che,Y.K. & Yoo,S.W., 1998.
"Optimal incentives for teams,"
8, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
- Dan Bernhardt, 1995. "Strategic Promotion and Compensation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(2), pages 315-339.
- Casey Ichniowski & Kathryn Shaw, 2003. "Beyond Incentive Pay: Insiders' Estimates of the Value of Complementary Human Resource Management Practices," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 155-180, Winter.
- Onur Baser & Elda Pema, 2003. "The return of publications for economics faculty," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 1(1), pages 1-13.
- Maxim Engers & Joshua S. Gans & Simon Grant & Stephen King, 1999. "First-Author Conditions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(4), pages 859-883, August.
- Bengt Holmstrom, 1981.
"Moral Hazard in Teams,"
471, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Robert Gibbons & Michael Waldman, 1999. "A Theory of Wage and Promotion Dynamics Inside Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1321-1358.
- Itoh, Hideshi, 1991. "Incentives to Help in Multi-agent Situations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 611-636, May.
- Emmanuelle Auriol & Guido Friebel & Lambros Pechlivanos, 2002. "Career Concerns in Teams," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(2), pages 289-307, Part.
- Steve Swidler & Elizabeth Goldreyer, 1998. "The Value of a Finance Journal Publication," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(1), pages 351-363, 02.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1661. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.