Veldhuizen, Roel van Oosterbeek, Hessel Sonnemans, Joep
Year of Publication:
[Journal:] PLoS ONE [ISSN:] 1932-6203 [Publisher:] Public Library of Science [Place:] San Francisco, CA [Volume:] 13 [Year:] 2018 [Issue:] 2 [Pages:] e0192038
This paper reports the results of a lab experiment designed to study the role of observability for peer effects in the setting of a simple production task. In our experiment, participants in the role of workers engage in a team real-effort task. We vary whether they can observe, or be observed by, one of their co-workers. In contrast to earlier findings from the field, we find no evidence that low-productivity workers perform better when they are observed by high-productivity co-workers. Instead, our results imply that peer effects in our experiment are heterogeneous, with some workers reciprocating a high-productivity co-worker but others taking the opportunity to free ride.
laboratory experiment peer group peer effects productivity work habits