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Because of you I did not give up - How peers affect perseverance

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  • Gerhards, Leonie
  • Gravert, Christina

Abstract

Various empirical paper have shown that peers affect productivity and behavior in the workplace. However, the mechanisms through which peers influence each other are still largely unknown. In this laboratory experiment we study a situation in which individuals might look at their peers' behavior to motivate themselves to endure in a task that requires perseverance. We test the impact of unidirectional peer effects under individual monetary incentives, controlling for ability and tactics. We find that peers significantly increase their observers' perseverance, while knowing about being observed does not significantly affect behavior. In a second experiment we investigate the motives to self-select into the role of an observing or an observant subject and what kind of peers individuals deliberately choose. Our findings from this treatment provide first insights on the perception of peer situations by individuals and new empirical evidence on how peer groups emerge.

Suggested Citation

  • Gerhards, Leonie & Gravert, Christina, 2016. "Because of you I did not give up - How peers affect perseverance," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145691, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc16:145691
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Albert, Philipp & Kübler, Dorothea & Silva-Goncalves, Juliana, 2019. "Peer Effects of Ambition," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 148, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    2. Buechel, Berno & Mechtenberg, Lydia & Petersen, Julia, 2017. "Peer effects on perseverance," FSES Working Papers 488, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Freiburg/Fribourg Switzerland.
    3. Leonie & Christina Gravert, 2015. "Grit Trumps Talent? An experimental approach," Economics Working Papers 2015-18, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • M50 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - General
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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