Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-51511
Cohn, Alain; Fehr, Ernst; Herrmann, Benedikt; Schneider, Frédéric (2011). Social Comparison in the Workplace: Evidence from a Field Experiment. Working paper series / Department of Economics No. 07, University of Zurich.
We conducted a randomized field experiment to examine how workers respond to wage cuts, and whether their response depends on the wages paid to coworkers. Workers were assigned to teams of two, performed identical individual tasks, and received the same performance?independent hourly wage. Cutting both team members’ wages caused a substantial decrease in performance. When only one team member’s wage was cut, the performance decrease for the workers who received the cut was more than twice as large as the individual performance decrease when both workers’ wages were cut. This finding indicates that social comparison processes among workers affect effort provision because the only difference between the two wage cut conditions is the other team member’s wage level. In contrast, workers whose wage was not cut but who witnessed their team member’s pay being cut displayed no change in performance relative to the baseline treatment in which both workers’ wages remained unchanged, indicating that social comparison exerts asymmetric effects on effort.
|Item Type:||Working Paper|
|Communities & Collections:||03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics|
Working Paper Series > Department of Economics
|JEL Classification:||C93, J33, M53|
|Uncontrolled Keywords:||Compensation, Fairness, Field Experiment, Social Comparison|
|Deposited On:||25 Nov 2011 11:13|
|Last Modified:||24 Oct 2012 13:35|
|Series Name:||Working paper series / Department of Economics|
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