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

Author

Listed:
  • Huck, Steffen
  • Szech, Nora
  • Wenner, Lukas M.

Abstract

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).

Suggested Citation

  • Huck, Steffen & Szech, Nora & Wenner, Lukas M., 2015. "More effort with less pay: On information avoidance, belief design and performance," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change SP II 2015-304r, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbeoc:spii2015304r
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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.
    3. Armin Falk & Florian Zimmermann, 2016. "Beliefs and Utility: Experimental Evidence on Preferences for Information," CESifo Working Paper Series 6061, CESifo Group Munich.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ambroise Decamps & Changxia Ke & Lionel Page, 2018. "How success breeds success," QuBE Working Papers 053, QUT Business School.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Optimal Expectations; Belief Design; Performance; Real Effort Task; Coarse Incentive Structures; Workplace Incentives;

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

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