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Looking After Number Two? Competition, Cooperation and Workplace Interaction

  • Barmby, Tim

    ()

    (University of Aberdeen)

  • Sessions, John G.

    ()

    (University of Bath)

  • Zangelidis, Alexandros

    ()

    (University of Aberdeen)

We build a model of worker interdependence in which two workers can either compete or cooperate and compare performance under either scenario to that of a single worker working in isolation. We show that whilst competition unequivocally reduces performance, cooperation may raise or lower performance. Employing a unique data set in which workgroups are comprised of either one or two workers, we are able to test explicitly for the presence of cooperation. We find empirical support for cooperative behavior.

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp7803.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7803.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7803
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  1. Topa, Giorgio, 2001. "Social Interactions, Local Spillovers and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(2), pages 261-95, April.
  2. Andrea Ichino & Giovanni Maggi, 2000. "Work Environment And Individual Background: Explaining Regional Shirking Differentials In A Large Italian Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 1057-1090, August.
  3. Imran Rasul & Iwan Barankay & Orana Bandiera, 2005. "Social preferences and the response to incentives: Evidence from personnel data," Natural Field Experiments 00212, The Field Experiments Website.
  4. Barmby, Tim & Larguem, Makram, 2009. "Coughs and sneezes spread diseases: An empirical study of absenteeism and infectious illness," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 1012-1017, September.
  5. Joshua Herries & Daniel I. Rees & Jeffrey S. Zax, 2003. "Interdependence in worker productivity," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(5), pages 585-604.
  6. Evans, William N & Oates, Wallace E & Schwab, Robert M, 1992. "Measuring Peer Group Effects: A Study of Teenage Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 966-91, October.
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