In this article, we discuss recent evidence from experimental economics on the impact of social preferences on workplace behavior. We focus on situations in which a single employer interacts with multiple employees. Traditionally, equity and efficiency have been seen as opposing aims in such work environments: individual pay-for-performance wage schemes maximize of efficiency but might lead to inequitable outcomes. We present findings from laboratory experiments that show under which circumstances partially incomplete contracts can create equitable work environments while at the same time reaching surprisingly efficient outcomes.
© 2011 by Lucius & Lucius, Stuttgart