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Effort and Comparison Income: Experimental and Survey Evidence

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  • Clark, Andrew E.

    (Paris School of Economics)

  • Masclet, David

    (University of Rennes)

  • Villeval, Marie Claire

    (CNRS, GATE)

Abstract

This paper considers the effect of status or relative income on work effort combining experimental evidence from a gift-exchange game with ISSP survey data. We find a consistent negative effect of others’ incomes on individual effort in both datasets. The individual’s rank in the income distribution is a stronger determinant of effort than others’ average income, suggesting that comparisons are more ordinal than cardinal. We then show that effort is also affected by comparisons over time: those who received higher income offers or had higher income rank in the past exert lower levels of effort for a given current income and rank.

Suggested Citation

  • Clark, Andrew E. & Masclet, David & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2006. "Effort and Comparison Income: Experimental and Survey Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 2169, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2169
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    comparison income; peak-end; experiments; rank; effort;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • M54 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Management
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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