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If I close my eyes, nobody will get hurt. The effect of ignorance on performance in a real effort experiment

Agne Kajackaite ()

No 05-03, Cologne Graduate School Working Paper Series from Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences

Abstract: This paper tests whether staying ignorant about the negative consequences of one's own actions affects agents' performance in a real effort experiment. We conducted treatments in which subjects' effort either increased only one's own payoff or also increased the donation to a bad charity. Ignorance was introduced by letting agents to decide whether or not to learn if the effort benefits the charity. Overall, we find that in the conditions with complete information agents exert significantly higher efforts if there are no benefits for the bad charity. With respect to ignorance, we show that (i) almost a third of agents stay ignorant, and (ii) the ignorant agents exert significantly more effort than agents who know that their effort benefits the bad charity. We also find evidence for a sorting of low social types into ignorance, as exogenously uninformed agents exert less effort than ignorant agents.

Keywords: ignorance; moral wiggle room; experiment; real effort (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D03 D80 M52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-cta, nep-exp and nep-hrm
Date: 2014-06
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Journal Article: If I close my eyes, nobody will get hurt: The effect of ignorance on performance in a real-effort experiment (2015) Downloads
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Persistent link: http://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:cgr:cgsser:05-03

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