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Peer effects of ambition

Philipp Albert, Dorothea Kübler () and Juliana Silva-Goncalves

Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior from WZB Berlin Social Science Center

Abstract: Ambition as the desire for personal achievement is an important driver of behavior. Using laboratory experiments, we study the role of social influence on ambition in two distinct domains of achievement, namely performance goals and task complexity. In the first case, participants set themselves a performance goal for a task they have to work on. The goal is associated with a proportional bonus that is added to a piece rate if the goal is reached. In the second case, they choose the complexity of the task, which is positively associated with the piece rate compensation and effort. In both cases we test whether observing peer choices influences own choices. We find strong evidence of peer effects on performance goals. In contrast, we find no support for peer effects on the choice of task complexity.

Keywords: peer effects; ambition; goal setting; task difficulty; laboratory experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D83 D91 I24 M5 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp and nep-hrm
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Related works:
Journal Article: Peer effects of ambition (2022) Downloads
Working Paper: Peer Effects of Ambition (2019) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:zbw:wzbmbh:spii2019202

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