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Whom to Choose as a Team Mate? A Lab Experiment about In-Group Favouritism

Author

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  • Hammermann, Andrea

    () (RWTH Aachen University)

  • Mohnen, Alwine

    () (Munich University of Technology)

  • Nieken, Petra

    () (University of Bonn)

Abstract

The practical relevance of favouritism among students of the same study path is evident in lifelong memberships in fraternities or sororities or in high donations to faculties. In our study, we focus on the in-group favouritism of students by examining the trade-off of acting based on in-group favouritism or a performance signal when decisions are made about whom to choose as a team mate. The novel feature of your study is that the choice of a team mate is either benevolence or relevant to the own output. In the first scenario, only the payoff of the chosen subject changed, whereas in the second scenario, the decision affected the decider's own payoff as well as that of the chosen subject. The subjects ex ante knew the group type (path of study) of the pool of possible team mates and received a signal giving weak information about their ability regarding the task. Intuitively, one would expect more favouritism if the own payoff was not affected by the performance of the chosen team mate. However, we found the opposite. The subjects exerted more favouritism in the revenue sharing scenario. Possibly they expected reciprocal behaviour and less free riding if they selected a team mate belonging to their own group. Interestingly, groups formed based on favouritism did not perform significantly different from groups formed based on the performance signal.

Suggested Citation

  • Hammermann, Andrea & Mohnen, Alwine & Nieken, Petra, 2012. "Whom to Choose as a Team Mate? A Lab Experiment about In-Group Favouritism," IZA Discussion Papers 6286, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6286
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Lise Vesterlund, 2015. "The Effect of Incentives on Real Effort: Evidence from the Slider Task," Working Paper 5661, Department of Economics, University of Pittsburgh.
    2. Doerrenberg, Philipp & Duncan, Denvil, 2014. "Experimental evidence on the relationship between tax evasion opportunities and labor supply," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 48-70.
    3. Victoria Prowse & David Gill, 2009. "A Novel Computerized Real Effort Task Based on Sliders," Economics Series Working Papers 435, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    4. Doerrenberg, Philipp & Duncan, Denvil & Zeppenfeld, Christopher, 2015. "Circumstantial risk: Impact of future tax evasion and labor supply opportunities on risk exposure," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 85-100.
    5. Gill, David & Prowse, Victoria & Vlassopoulos, Michael, 2013. "Cheating in the workplace: An experimental study of the impact of bonuses and productivity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 120-134.
    6. Murray, Cameron K. & Frijters, Paul & Schaffner, Markus, 2017. "Is Transparency an Anti-Corruption Myth?," IZA Discussion Papers 10683, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    favouritism; lab experiment; teams;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • M51 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Firm Employment Decisions; Promotions

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