Responsibility-Alleviation and Other-Regarding Preferences with Peer Workers in Labor Markets: An Experimental Investigation

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Abstract

A peer worker is introduced in a controlled labor market experiment characterized by unobservable effort and incomplete contracts. Workers make decisions independently and without knowledge of each other's actions in a modified gift exchange experiment. Introducing a peer worker into an ongoing market has a negative and significant effect on effort. This decrease in effort is consistent with responsibility-alleviation on the part of employees and not with other-regarding equity concerns for the manager's payoffs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-369
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Labor Research
Volume33
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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