October 2009

IZA DP No. 4532: Social Interaction, Co-Worker Altruism, and Incentives

Robert Dur, Joeri Sol

published in: Games and Economic Behavior, 2010, 69 (2), 293-301

Social interaction with colleagues is an important job attribute for many workers. To attract and retain workers, managers therefore need to think about how to create and preserve high-quality co-worker relationships. This paper develops a principal-multi-agent model where agents do not only engage in productive activities, but also in social interaction with their colleagues, which in turn creates co-worker altruism. We study how financial incentives for productive activities can improve or damage the work climate. We show that both team incentives and relative incentives can help to create a good work climate.