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Altruism and Relational Incentives in the Workplace

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  • Dur, Robert

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

  • Tichem, Jan

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Abstract

This paper studies how altruism between managers and employees affects relational incentive contracts. To this end we develop a simple dynamic principal-agent model where both players may have feelings of altruism or spite toward each other. The con- tract may contain two types of incentives for the agent to work hard: a bonus and a threat of dismissal. We find that altruism undermines the credibility of a threat of dis- missal but strengthens the credibility of a bonus. Among others, these two mechanisms imply that higher altruism sometimes leads to higher bonuses, while lower altruism may increase productivity and players utility in equilibrium.

Suggested Citation

  • Dur, Robert & Tichem, Jan, 2013. "Altruism and Relational Incentives in the Workplace," IZA Discussion Papers 7363, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7363
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    Cited by:

    1. Hernán Bejarano & Brice Corgnet & Joaquín Gómez-Miñambres, 2019. "Labor Contracts, Gift-Exchange and Reference Wages: Your Gift Need Not Be Mine!," Working Papers 19-26, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    2. Matthias Fahn, 2019. "Reciprocity in dynamic employment relationships," CESifo Working Paper Series 7634, CESifo.
    3. Robert Dur & Ola Kvaløy & Anja Schöttner, 2022. "Leadership Styles and Labor Market Conditions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 68(4), pages 3150-3168, April.
    4. Roberto Sarkisian, 2021. "Optimal Incentives Schemes under Homo Moralis Preferences," Games, MDPI, vol. 12(1), pages 1-22, March.
    5. Brice Corgnet, 2018. "Rac(g)e Against the Machine? Social Incentives When Humans Meet Robots," Post-Print halshs-01984467, HAL.
    6. Matthias Fahn & Giorgio Zanarone, 2021. "Pay Transparency under Subjective Performance Evaluation," Economics working papers 2021-02, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    7. Calabuig, Vicente & Olcina, Gonzalo & Panebianco, Fabrizio, 2018. "Culture and team production," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 32-45.
    8. Matthias Fahn & Anne Schade & Katharina Schüßler, 2017. "What Drives Reciprocal Behavior? The Optimal Provision of Incentives over the Course of Careers," CESifo Working Paper Series 6635, CESifo.
    9. Matthias Fahn & Giorgio Zanarone, 2022. "Transparency in relational contracts," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(5), pages 1046-1071, May.
    10. John G. Sessions & John D. Skåtun, 2022. "Luck in a Flat Hierarchy: Wages, Bonuses and Noise," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 98(323), pages 373-391, December.
    11. Michael Vlassopoulos, 2017. "‘Putting a Foot in the Door’: Volunteer Hiring and Organizational Form," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 85(2), pages 133-162, March.
    12. Bejarano, Hernán & Corgnet, Brice & Gómez-Miñambres, Joaquín, 2021. "Economic stability promotes gift-exchange in the workplace," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 187(C), pages 374-398.
    13. Daniel G. Arce, 2017. "Screening for Managerial Objectives," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 84(2), pages 442-455, October.
    14. Dur, Robert & Kvaløy, Ola & Schöttner, Anja, 2020. "Labor-Market Conditions and Leadership Styles," IZA Discussion Papers 13860, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    15. Michael Krapp & Kai Sandner, 2016. "Impact of an equal pay norm on the optimal design of incentive contracts," Journal of Business Economics, Springer, vol. 86(3), pages 301-338, April.
    16. Fahn, Matthias & MacLeod, W. Bentley & Muehlheusser, Gerd, 2023. "Past and Future Developments in the Economics of Relational Contracts," IZA Discussion Papers 16427, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    17. Fleckinger, Pierre & Martimort, David & Roux, Nicolas, 2023. "Should They Compete or Should They Cooperate? The View of Agency Theory," TSE Working Papers 23-1421, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised Jan 2024.
    18. Stefano Dughera & Alain Marciano, 2022. "Supervise me if you can. Relational feelings, incentive pays and supervisory violations," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 136(1), pages 47-72, June.
    19. Agnieszka Rusinowska & Vassili Vergopoulos, 2020. "Ingratiation and Favoritism in Organizations," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 176(3), pages 413-445.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Nash bargaining; spite; subjective performance evaluation; efficiency wages; incentives; relational contracts; altruism;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • 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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