HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.

Academic Dean
Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government
Co-Director, Women and Public Policy Program

Abstract

In labor markets, some individuals have, or believe to have, less data on the determinants of success than others, e.g., due to differential access to technology or role models. We provide experimental evidence on when and how informational differences translate into performance differences. In a laboratory tournament setting, we varied the degree to which individuals were informed about the effort-reward relationship, and whether their competitor received the same or a different amount of information. We find performance is adversely affected only by worse relative, but not absolute, informedness. This suggests that inequity aversion applies not only to outcomes but also to information that helps achieve them, and stresses the importance of inequality in initial information conditions for performance-dependent outcomes.

Citation

Bohnet, Iris, and Farzad Saidi. "Informational Inequity Aversion and Performance." Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 159 (March 2019): 181-191.