Looking Awkward when Winning and Foolish when Losing: Inequity Aversion and Performance in the Field
Yale University - Yale Center for International and Area Studies
Queensland University of Technology
Bruno S. Frey
CREMA; Zeppelin University
Sascha L. Schmidt
EBS Universität für Wirtschaft und Recht - Institute for Sports, Business & Society
IEW Working Paper No. 369
The experimental literature and studies using survey data have established that people care a great deal about their relative economic position and not solely, as standard economic theory assumes, about their absolute economic position. Individuals are concerned about social comparisons. However, behavioral evidence in the field is rare. This paper provides an empirical analysis testing the model of inequity aversion using two unique panel data sets for basketball and soccer players. We find support that the concept of inequity aversion helps to understand how the relative income situation affects performance in a real competitive environment with real tasks and real incentives.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 34
Keywords: inequity aversion, relative income, positional concerns, envy, social comparison, performance, interdependent preferences
JEL Classification: D000, D600, 8222, 9210, L830
Date posted: May 5, 2008
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