Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/69416
Authors: 
Fehr, Ernst
Herz, Holger
Wilkening, Tom
Year of Publication: 
2012
Series/Report no.: 
Discussion Paper Series, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit 7030
Abstract: 
Authority and power permeate political, social, and economic life, but empirical knowledge about the motivational origins and consequences of authority is limited. We study the motivation and incentive effects of authority experimentally in an authority-delegation game. Individuals often retain authority even when its delegation is in their material interest - suggesting that authority has non-pecuniary consequences for utility. Authority also leads to over-provision of effort by the controlling parties, while a large percentage of subordinates under-provide effort despite pecuniary incentives to the contrary. Authority thus has important motivational consequences that exacerbate the inefficiencies arising from suboptimal delegation choices.
Subjects: 
organizational behavior
incentives
experiments and contracts
JEL: 
C92
D83
D23
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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