Combining 'Real Effort' with Induced Effort Costs: The Ball-Catching Task

40 Pages Posted: 19 May 2015

See all articles by Simon Gächter

Simon Gächter

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Lingbo Huang

Nanjing Audit University

Martin Sefton

University of Nottingham - School of Economics

Date Written: May 19, 2015

Abstract

We introduce the "ball-catching task", a novel computerized real effort task, which combines "real" efforts with induced material cost of effort. The central feature of the ball-catching task is that it allows researchers to manipulate the cost of effort function as well as the production function, which permits quantitative predictions on effort provision. In an experiment with piece-rate incentives we find that the comparative static and the point predictions on effort provision are remarkably accurate. We also present experimental findings from three classic experiments, namely, team production, gift exchange and tournament, using the task. All of the results are closely in line with the stylized facts from experiments using purely induced values. We conclude that the ballcatching task combines the advantages of real effort with induced values, which is useful for theorytesting purposes as well as for applications.

Keywords: experimental design, real effort task, induced values, incentives, piece-rate theory, team incentives, gift exchange, tournaments, online real effort experiments

JEL Classification: C910, C920, J410

Suggested Citation

Gächter, Simon and Huang, Lingbo and Sefton, Martin, Combining 'Real Effort' with Induced Effort Costs: The Ball-Catching Task (May 19, 2015). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 5345, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2607939 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2607939

Simon Gächter (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Lingbo Huang

Nanjing Audit University ( email )

86 Yushan W Rd
Pukou, Jiangsu 210017
China

Martin Sefton

University of Nottingham - School of Economics ( email )

University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD
United Kingdom

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