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More effort with less pay: On information avoidance, belief design and performance

Listed author(s):
  • Huck, Steffen
  • Szech, Nora
  • Wenner, Lukas M.

In a tedious real effort task, subjects know that their piece rate is either low or ten times higher. When subjects are informed about their piece rate realization, they adapt their performance. One third of subjects nevertheless forego this instrumental information when given the choice - and perform stunningly well. Agents who are uninformed regarding their piece rate tend to outperform all others, even those who know that their piece rate is high. This also holds for enforced instead of self-selected information avoidance. All our findings can be captured by a model of optimally distorted expectations following Brunnermeier and Parker (2005).

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Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change with number SP II 2015-304.

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Date of creation: 2015
Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbeoc:spii2015304
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  1. Jose Apesteguia & Ignacio Palacios-Huerta, 2010. "Psychological Pressure in Competitive Environments: Evidence from a Randomized Natural Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2548-2564, December.
  2. Emmanuel Dechenaux & Dan Kovenock & Roman Sheremeta, 2015. "A survey of experimental research on contests, all-pay auctions and tournaments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(4), pages 609-669, December.
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