Competitive Preferences and Status as an Incentive: Experimental Evidence

Groupe d’Analyse et de Théorie Économique Working Paper No. 1016

50 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2010

See all articles by Gary Charness

Gary Charness

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) - Department of Economics

David Masclet

Université de Rennes I; M@rsouin

Marie Claire Villeval

Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), CNRS; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Global Labor Organization (GLO)

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 1, 2010

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate individuals’ investment in status in an environment where no monetary return can possibly be derived from reaching a better relative position. We use a real-effort experiment in which we permit individuals to learn and potentially improve their status (rank). We find that people express both intrinsic motivation and a taste for status. Indeed, people increase their effort when they are simply informed about their relative performance, and people pay both to sabotage others’ output and to artificially increase their own relative performance. In addition, stronger group identity favors positive rivalry and discourages sabotage among.

Keywords: Status Seeking, Rank, Competitive Preferences, Experiment

JEL Classification: C91, C92, M54, D63, J28, J31

Suggested Citation

Charness, Gary and Masclet, David and Villeval, Marie Claire, Competitive Preferences and Status as an Incentive: Experimental Evidence (June 1, 2010). Groupe d’Analyse et de Théorie Économique Working Paper No. 1016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1634889 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1634889

Gary Charness (Contact Author)

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) - Department of Economics ( email )

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David Masclet

Université de Rennes I ( email )

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M@rsouin ( email )

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Marie Claire Villeval

Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), CNRS ( email )

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+33 472 86 60 90 (Fax)

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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