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Mutual Monitoring in Teams: The Effects of Residual Claimancy and Reciprocity

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  • Samuel Bowles
  • Herbert Gintis

Abstract

Monitoring by peers in work teams, credit associations, partner- ships, local commons situations, and residential neighborhoods is often an effective means of attenuating incentive problems. Most explanations of the incentives to engage in mutual monitoring rely either on small group size or on a version of the Folk theorem with repeated interactions. We provide an explanation of mutual monitoring in single shot interactions among members of large teams. A key element of our approach is that when team members are residual claimants, some members are motivated by reciprocity norms to punish fellow members when they shirk. We provide evidence for the behavioral relevance of reciprocity norms and we explore the effects team size and the structure of information among team members on the efficacy of mutual monitoring. We conclude with some results specifying conditions under which mutual monitoring in teams provides an effective solution to incentive problems arising from incomplete contracting, as well as conditions under which mutual monitoring is likely to fail.

Suggested Citation

  • Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 1998. "Mutual Monitoring in Teams: The Effects of Residual Claimancy and Reciprocity," Research in Economics 98-08-074e, Santa Fe Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:safire:98-08-074e
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    File URL: http://www.santafe.edu/sfi/publications/Working-Papers/98-08-074.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1995. "Group lending, repayment incentives and social collateral," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-18, February.
    2. Black, Jane & de Meza, David & Jeffreys, David, 1996. "House Price, the Supply of Collateral and the Enterprise Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(434), pages 60-75, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jeffrey Carpenter & Peter Matthews, 2002. "Social Reciprocity," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0229, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
    2. David Masclet & Charles Noussair & Steven Tucker & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2003. "Monetary and Nonmonetary Punishment in the Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 366-380, March.
    3. Jeffrey Carpenter & Peter Matthews & Okomboli Ong’ong’a, 2004. "Why Punish? Social reciprocity and the enforcement of prosocial norms," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 407-429, October.
    4. Carpenter, Jeffrey P., 2007. "Punishing free-riders: How group size affects mutual monitoring and the provision of public goods," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 31-51, July.
    5. Abigail Barr, 2003. "Risk pooling, commitment and information: An experimental test of two fundamental assumptions," Framed Field Experiments 00124, The Field Experiments Website.
    6. John S. Heywood & Uwe Jirjahn & Georgi Tsertsvadze, 2005. "Getting along with Colleagues - Does Profit Sharing Help or Hurt?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(4), pages 557-573, November.
    7. Marco Casari & Luigi Luini, 2005. "Group Cooperation Under Alternative Peer Punishment Technologies: An Experiment," Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory University of Siena 002, University of Siena.
    8. albanese, marina & navarra, cecilia & Tortia, Ermanno, 2017. "EQUILIBRIUM UNEMPLOYMENT AS A WORKER INSURANCE DEVICE. Wage setting in worker owned enterprises," MPRA Paper 77031, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    Keywords

    Monitoring; reciprocity;

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