Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/195918
Authors: 
Albert, Philipp
Kübler, Dorothea
Silva-Goncalves, Juliana
Year of Publication: 
2019
Series/Report no.: 
WZB Discussion Paper SP II 2019-202
Abstract: 
Ambition as the desire for personal achievement is an important driver of behavior. Using laboratory experiments, we study the role of social influence on ambition in two distinct domains of achievement, namely performance goals and task complexity. In the first case, participants set themselves a performance goal for a task they have to work on. The goal is associated with a proportional bonus that is added to a piece rate if the goal is reached. In the second case, they choose the complexity of the task, which is positively associated with the piece rate compensation and effort. In both cases we test whether observing peer choices influences own choices. We find strong evidence of peer effects on performance goals. In contrast, we find no support for peer effects on the choice of task complexity.
Subjects: 
peer effects
ambition
goal setting
task difficulty
laboratory experiment
JEL: 
C91
D83
D91
I24
M5
Document Type: 
Working Paper
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