Competitive Preferences and Status as an Incentive: Experimental Evidence

50 Pages Posted: 12 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

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

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 peers.

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. IZA Discussion Paper No. 5034. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1638469

Gary Charness (Contact Author)

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

2127 North Hall
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
United States
805-893-2412 (Phone)
805-893-8830 (Fax)

David Masclet

Université de Rennes I ( email )

11 Rue Jean Macé
35065 Rennes Cedex, Rennes
France

M@rsouin ( email )

France

Marie Claire Villeval

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

93, chemin des Mouilles
Ecully, 69130
France
+33 472 86 60 79 (Phone)
+33 472 86 60 90 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.gate.cnrs.fr/equipe/perso/villeval/villeval.html

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
100
Abstract Views
853
rank
68,536
PlumX Metrics