Preferences for Autonomy in Pay
25 Pages Posted:
Date Written: January 7, 2020
A recent literature points to individuals having preferences for autonomy from others when it concerns how much they earn. Using a simple experiment we evaluate whether individuals exhibit preferences for autonomy without confounds present in the earlier work. We show that in their vast majority (close to 90%), individuals show no such preferences for autonomy. Our results suggest that the previously documented prevalence of autonomy preferences is likely due to risk attitudes, environment complexity, perceived uncertainty or beliefs, rather than preferences for autonomy in pay per se.
Keywords: Independence, freedom, non-interference, authority, control, Becker-DeGroot-Marschak mechanism, laboratory experiment
JEL Classification: C91, D01, D91, M54
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation