Social preferences, accountability, and wage bargaining

Martin G. Kocher, Odile Poulsen, Daniel J. Zizzo

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Abstract

We experimentally test preferences for employment in a collective wage bargaining situation with heterogeneous workers. We vary the size of the union and introduce a treatment mechanism transforming the voting game into an individual allocation task. Our results show that highly productive workers do not take employment of low productive workers into account when making wage proposals, regardless of whether only union members determine the wage or all workers. The level of pro-social preferences is small in the voting game, but it increases if the game becomes an individual allocation task. We interpret this as an accountability effect.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)659–678
JournalSocial Choice and Welfare
Volume48
Issue number3
Early online date7 Feb 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017

Keywords

  • social preferences
  • wage bargaining
  • accountability
  • collective decision making

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