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Cooperation and Competition in Intergenerational Experiments in the Field and in the Laboratory

Gary Charness () and Marie Claire Villeval ()

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Abstract: There is economic pressure towards the postponement of the retirement age, but employers are still reluctant to employ older workers. We investigate the comparative behavior of juniors and seniors in experiments conducted both onsite with the employees of two large firms and in a conventional laboratory environment with students and retirees. We show that seniors are no more risk averse than juniors and are typically more cooperative; both juniors and working seniors respond strongly to competition. The implication is that it may be beneficial to define additional incentives near the end of the career to motivate and retain older workers.

Keywords: Age; performance; diversity; stereotypes; cooperation; competition; inter-generational games; experiments (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2009
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00371984
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Published in The American Economic Review, 2009, 99 (3), pp. 956-978

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