Does Workplace Competition Increase Labor Supply? Evidence from a Field Experiment

56 Pages Posted: 17 Jun 2019 Last revised: 5 Jul 2019

See all articles by Amalia R. Miller

Amalia R. Miller

University of Virginia - Department of Economics

Ragan Petrie

Texas A&M University - Department of Economics; University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research

Carmit Segal

University of Zurich - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 3, 2019

Abstract

This paper develops a novel field experiment to test the implicit prediction of tournament theory that competition increases work time and can therefore contribute to the long work hours required in elite occupations. A majority of workers in the treatment without explicit financial incentives worked past the minimum time, but awarding a tournament prize increased work time and effort by over 80% and lowered costs of effort or output by over a third. Effort was similar with alternative (piece rate, low-prize tournament) bonuses. Men worked longer than women in the high-prize tournament, but for the same duration in other treatments.

Keywords: tournaments, performance pay, long work hours, elite occupations, gender

JEL Classification: M52, M55, J16, J22, J33, J44, D91

Suggested Citation

Miller, Amalia R. and Petrie, Ragan and Segal, Carmit, Does Workplace Competition Increase Labor Supply? Evidence from a Field Experiment (July 3, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3399128 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3399128

Amalia R. Miller (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 400182
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4182
United States

HOME PAGE: http://people.virginia.edu/~am5by/

Ragan Petrie

Texas A&M University - Department of Economics ( email )

4228 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843-4228
United States

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research ( email )

Level 5, FBE Building, 111 Barry Street
Parkville, Victoria 3010
Australia

Carmit Segal

University of Zurich - Department of Economics ( email )

Winterthurerstrasse 30
Z├╝rich, CH-8006
Switzerland

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

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