Evidence from the use of communal lands in southern Namibia suggests that there is a higher tendency towards anti-social behaviour and conflict amongst groups who were exposed to higher levels of resource scarcity than others.
Prediger et al (2014) Journal of Public Economics
Indian sugar cane farmers’ cognitive performance is significantly lower before harvest, when their finances are stretched thin. Their performance improves after harvest, when financial concerns are alleviated. This result cannot be attributed to obvious factors, such as nutrition and stress levels.
Mani et al (2013) Science Magazine
Evidence from US court records for the 1973-1995 period suggests that there is a racial bias against minority defendants in capital punishment cases. First degree courts were more severe when minority defendants were accused of killing a white victim than when the victim was non-white. This bias is only detected in the Southern States of the US.
Alesina & La Ferrara (2014) American Economic Review
In a firm in Kenya workers from different ethnicities had to work in the same group. When they were getting paid according to individual production, they would sabotage those of different ethnicities, leading to lower productivity. When the payments were based on the production of the whole team, sabotaging decreased and overall productivity rose.
Hjort (forthcoming) Quarterly Journal of Economics
The unification of goods markets and jobs markets brought by globalization may be partly responsible for increasing dispersion in managerial wages.
Gersbach & Schmutzler (2014) European Economic Review
Prosocial behaviour of criminals is no different than that of non-criminals, in laboratory experiments. The results hold both when criminals play with other criminals and when they play with non-criminals.
Birkeland et al (2013) Experimental Economics
When firms and financial intermediaries are credit constrained any change in their relative wealth will affect interest rates and aggregate investment. Also, when hit by a shock such as a credit crunch, capital constrained firms will be the ones affected the most.
Holmstrom & Tirole (1997) Quarterly Journal of Economics
Officials under the threat of reelection are more likely to conform with the prevailing public opinion but it is also easier for the public to monitor their actions. Constitutions should take the magnitude of these effects into account when prescribing whether the decision making power is allocated to officials who can get re-elected, to those who cannot or to the the public directly(i.e. deciding through a referendum).
Maskin & Tirole (2004) AER
Performance incentives have been proved to work in the short term but might become counter-productive and “crowd out” a person’s intrinsic motivation to make an effort in the longer term. In this sense, the use of rewards may have “hidden costs” in that they might reduce overall effort.
Bénabou & Tirole (2003) Review of Economic Studies
A regulator usually has less information (about costs, technology, etc) than the firm it regulates. This can lead to strategic behaviour and inefficient results. While cost-plus regulation will lead to cost overruns, price cap systems can lead to huge rents for efficient firms. Optimal regulation must take into account these incentives and may not achieve first best levels of efficiency, but will trade off efficiency gains and distributional concerns.
Laffont & Tirole (1986) Journal of Political Economy