Social preferences, accountability, and wage bargaining

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


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
Number of pages20
JournalSocial Choice and Welfare
Issue number3
Early online date7 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


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

Cite this