Competition and Fatigue at Work

41 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2019 Last revised: 9 Aug 2019

See all articles by Vera Angelova

Vera Angelova

Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin)

Thomas Giebe

Linnaeus University - Department of Economics and Statistics

Radosveta Ivanova-Stenzel

Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin)

Date Written: August 8, 2019

Abstract

We study theoretically and experimentally the role of fatigue and recovery within a competitive work environment. We model a sequence of work periods as tournaments that are linked through fatigue spillovers, inducing a non-time-separable decision problem. We also allow for variations in incentives in one work period, in order to analyze spillover effects to the work periods “before” and “after”. Making recovery harder should, generally, reduce effort. This prediction is supported by the experimental data. A short-term increase in incentives in one period should lead to higher effort in that period, and, due to fatigue, to strategic resting before and after. Our experimental results confirm the former, and we find some evidence for the latter. Even in the presence of fatigue, total effort should positively respond to higher-powered incentives. This is not supported by our data. Removing fatigue, we find the expected increase in total effort.

Keywords: Fatigue, Recovery, Incentives, Experiment, Tournament

JEL Classification: C72, C91, D91, J22, J33, J81, L2, M52

Suggested Citation

Angelova, Vera and Giebe, Thomas and Ivanova-Stenzel, Radosveta, Competition and Fatigue at Work (August 8, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3348516 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3348516

Vera Angelova (Contact Author)

Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin)

Straße des 17
Juni 135
Berlin, 10623
Germany

Thomas Giebe

Linnaeus University - Department of Economics and Statistics ( email )

Växjö, 351 06
Sweden

Radosveta Ivanova-Stenzel

Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin) ( email )

Straße des 17. Juni 135
Berlin, 10623
Germany

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