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Competitive Preferences and Status as an Incentive: Experimental Evidence

Gary Charness (), David Masclet () and Marie Claire Villeval ()

CIRANO Working Papers from CIRANO

Abstract: In this paper, we investigate individuals' investment in status in an environment where no monetary return can possibly be derived from reaching a better relative position. We use a real-effort experiment in which we permit individuals to learn and potentially improve their relative position in terms of performance. We find that people express a taste for status. People increase their effort when they are informed about their relative performance, and some individuals pay to sabotage others' output or to artificially increase their own performance although they are paid a flat wage. Introducing the opportunity to sabotage others' output exerts a negative effect on performance. Such effects can be alleviated by inducing group identity that favors positive rivalry but discourages sabotage among peers. Dans cet article, nous étudions la recherche de statut par les agents économiques dans un environnement où un meilleur statut ne procure pas nécessairement un avantage monétaire. Pour cela, nous avons réalisé une expérience en effort réel dans laquelle les agents sont amenés à fournir un niveau d'effort et sont informés de la performance de leurs collègues de travail. Nous observons que la plupart des gens ont un goût élevé pour la compétition et la recherche de statut au sein de leur groupe. Les individus augmentent leur niveau d'effort dès lors qu'ils sont informés de l'effort des autres. Certains sont même disposés à saboter l'effort des autres ou à accroitre artificiellement leur propre effort afin d'accroitre artificiellement leur statut.

Keywords: Status seeking; rank; competitive preferences; experiment; recherche de statut; classement; préférences compétitives; expérience (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 C92 M54 D63 J28 J31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp and nep-lab
Date: 2011-01-01
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (5) Track citations by RSS feed

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https://cirano.qc.ca/files/publications/2011s-07.pdf

Related works:
Working Paper: Competitive Preferences and Status as an Incentive: Experimental Evidence (2010) Downloads
Working Paper: Competitive Preferences and Status as an Incentive: Experimental Evidence (2010) Downloads
Working Paper: Competitive preferences and status as an incentive: experimental evidence (2010)
Working Paper: Competitive preferences and status as an incentive: experimental evidence (2010)
Working Paper: Competitive Preferences and Status as an Incentive: Experimental Evidence (2010) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:cir:cirwor:2011s-07

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