Free Riding and Workplace Democracy – Heterogeneous Task Preferences and Sorting
60 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2020
Date Written: September 2019
A novel laboratory experiment is used to show that mismatching between task preferences and task assignment undermines worker productivity and leads to free riding in teams. We elicit task preferences from all workers. Workers’ endogenous sorting into tasks significantly improves productivity under individual-based remuneration (performance pay). Under team-based remuneration (revenue sharing), free riding is significant, but almost exclusively among those working on undesired tasks. Task selection by majority voting in teams alleviates free riding, but only partly so, because some workers are still assigned to undesired tasks. Our findings have broad implications for research using real effort tasks.
Keywords: free riding, team, workplace democracy, experiment, real effort
JEL Classification: C92, C91, H41, D82, J01
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation