Experimental Economics

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 284–301 | Cite as

Why real leisure really matters: incentive effects on real effort in the laboratory

  • Brice Corgnet
  • Roberto Hernán-González
  • Eric Schniter
Original Paper

Abstract

On-the-job leisure is a pervasive feature of the modern workplace. We studied its impact on work performance in a laboratory experiment by either allowing or restricting Internet access. We used a 2 × 2 experimental design in which subjects completing real-effort work tasks could earn cash according to either individual- or team-production incentive schemes. Under team pay, production levels were significantly lower when Internet browsing was available than when it was not. Under individual pay, however, no differences in production levels were observed between the treatment in which Internet was available and the treatment in which it was not. In line with standard incentive theory, individual pay outperformed team pay across all periods of the experiment when Internet browsing was available. This was not the case, however, when Internet browsing was unavailable. These results demonstrate that the integration of on-the-job leisure activities into an experimental labor design is crucial for uncovering incentive effects.

Keywords

Incentive Free riding Internet access Experimental method 

JEL Classification

C92 D23 M52 

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Copyright information

© Economic Science Association 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brice Corgnet
    • 1
  • Roberto Hernán-González
    • 2
  • Eric Schniter
    • 1
  1. 1.Argyros School of Business and Economics, Chapman University, Economic Science InstituteChapman UniversityOrangeUSA
  2. 2.Economics DepartmentUniversity of GranadaGranadaSpain

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