Why Real Leisure Really Matters: Incentive Effects on Real Effort in the Laboratory

23 Pages Posted: 5 Sep 2013 Last revised: 16 May 2014

See all articles by Brice Corgnet

Brice Corgnet

Chapman University - Economic Science Institute; Chapman University - The George L. Argyros School of Business & Economics

Roberto Hernan Gonzalez

Université de Bourgogne - Burgundy School of Business; University of Granada

Eric Schniter

Center for the Study of Human Nature - CSUF; Chapman University - George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics - Economic Science Institute

Date Written: January 14, 2014

Abstract

On-the-job leisure is a pervasive feature of the modern workplace. We studied its impact on work performance in a laboratory experiment by either allowing or restricting Internet access. We used a 2×2 experimental design in which subjects completing real-effort work tasks could earn cash according to either individual- or team-production incentive schemes. Under team pay, production levels were significantly lower when Internet browsing was available than when it was not. Under individual pay, however, no differences in production levels were observed between the treatment in which Internet was available and the treatment in which it was not. In line with standard incentive theory, individual pay outperformed team pay across all periods of the experiment when Internet browsing was available. This was not the case, however, when Internet browsing was unavailable. These results demonstrate that the integration of on-the-job leisure activities into an experimental labor design is crucial for uncovering incentive effects.

Keywords: Incentive, Leisure, Effort, Internet access, Experimental method

JEL Classification: C92, D23, M52

Suggested Citation

Corgnet, Brice and Hernan Gonzalez, Roberto and Schniter, Eric, Why Real Leisure Really Matters: Incentive Effects on Real Effort in the Laboratory (January 14, 2014). Experimental Economics, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2320240 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2320240

Brice Corgnet

Chapman University - Economic Science Institute ( email )

One University Dr.
Orange, CA 92866
United States

Chapman University - The George L. Argyros School of Business & Economics ( email )

One University Dr.
Orange, CA 92866
United States

Roberto Hernan Gonzalez

Université de Bourgogne - Burgundy School of Business ( email )

29 rue Sambin
Dijon, 21006
France

University of Granada ( email )

C/Rector López Argueta S/N
Granada, Granada 18071
Spain

Eric Schniter (Contact Author)

Center for the Study of Human Nature - CSUF ( email )

800 N. State College Blvd.
Fullerton, CA 92831-3599
United States

Chapman University - George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics - Economic Science Institute ( email )

One University Dr.
Orange, CA 92866
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/ericschniter/

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