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Effort and comparison income: experimental and survey evidence

Andrew Clark (), David Masclet () and Marie Claire Villeval ()

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Abstract: The authors test the hypothesis that individual effort on the job depends both on one's own income and on the individual's position in the relevant income distribution. Combining experimental evidence from a gift-exchange game with multi-country ISSP survey data, they analyze the extent to which relative income affects an individual's effort, finding that an individual's rank in the income distribution more strongly determines effort than does others' average income, which suggests that comparisons are more ordinal than cardinal. Their experiment also reveals that comparisons over time affect effort: individuals who received higher income offers or enjoyed higher income rank in the past exerted lower levels of effort for a given current income and rank.

Keywords: Experimental economics; personnel economics; comparison income (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00459777
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Published in Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 2010, 63 (3), pp.407-426

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Related works:
Journal Article: Effort and Comparison Income: Experimental and Survey Evidence (2010) Downloads
Working Paper: Effort and Comparison Income: Experimental and Survey Evidence (2008) Downloads
Working Paper: Effort and comparison income: experimental and survey evidence (2008) Downloads
Working Paper: Effort and Comparison Income: Experimental and Survey Evidence (2006) Downloads
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