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On the role of social wage comparisons in gift-exchange experiments

Author

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  • Siang, Ch'ng Kean
  • Requate, Till
  • Waichman, Israel

Abstract

This study extends a bilateral gift exchange experiment by Clark et al. (2010) who investigate how feedback of information about wages paid in the market affects both employers' wage setting and workers' performance. We provide either quantitative or qualitative information on the average wage paid in all worker-employer-relationships, and we also study repeated relationships (fixedmatching). We find that information on the average wage reduces (increases) both wage offers and effort levels in one-shot (repeated) relationships.

Suggested Citation

  • Siang, Ch'ng Kean & Requate, Till & Waichman, Israel, 2010. "On the role of social wage comparisons in gift-exchange experiments," Economics Working Papers 2010-11, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:cauewp:201011
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gächter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 159-181, Summer.
    2. Ernst Fehr & Georg Kirchsteiger & Arno Riedl, 1993. "Does Fairness Prevent Market Clearing? An Experimental Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(2), pages 437-459.
    3. Kirchler, Erich & Fehr, Ernst & Evans, Robert, 1996. "Social exchange in the labor market: Reciprocity and trust versus egoistic money maximization," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 313-341, June.
    4. Johannes Abeler & Steffen Altmann & Sebastian Kube & Matthias Wibral, 2010. "Gift Exchange and Workers' Fairness Concerns: When Equality is Unfair," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(6), pages 1299-1324, December.
    5. Gachter, Simon & Falk, Armin, 2002. " Reputation and Reciprocity: Consequences for the Labour Relation," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(1), pages 1-26.
    6. George A. Akerlof, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-569.
    7. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    8. Gary Charness & Peter Kuhn, 2007. "Does Pay Inequality Affect Worker Effort? Experimental Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 693-723.
    9. Werner Güth & Manfred Königstein & Judit Kovács & Enikõ Zala-Mezõ, 2001. "Fairness Within Firms: The Case Of One Principal And Multiple Agents," Schmalenbach Business Review (sbr), LMU Munich School of Management, vol. 53(2), pages 82-101, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Fortuna Casoria & Arno Riedl, 2013. "Experimental Labor Markets And Policy Considerations: Incomplete Contracts And Macroeconomic Aspects," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(3), pages 398-420, July.
    2. Gary Charness & Ramón Cobo-Reyes & Juan A. Lacomba & Francisco Lagos & Jose Maria Perez, 2016. "Social comparisons in wage delegation: experimental evidence," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(2), pages 433-459, June.
    3. Elwyn Davies & Marcel Fafchamps, 2017. "When No Bad Deed Goes Punished: Relational Contracting in Ghana versus the UK," NBER Working Papers 23123, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Israel Waichman & Ch’ng Kean Siang & Till Requate & Aric P. Shafran & Eva Camacho-Cuena & Yoshio Iida & Shosh Shahrabani, 2015. "Reciprocity in Labor Market Relationships: Evidence from an Experiment across High-Income OECD Countries," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(4), pages 1-22, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    gift-exchange; reciprocity; wage difference; economic experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts

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