It is well-known that social relationships and altruism among workers foster cooperation in the workplace and, therefore, may have beneficial effects for firms. Yet it is unclear how and to what extent co-worker altruism impacts labor market outcomes. In this paper, we find that, although co-worker altruism may be seamless in good times, it may impact the functioning of labor markets during bad times. Specifically, co-worker altruism may potentially lead to wage rigidity and involuntary unemployment in economic downturns. These results seem to be consistent with recent empirical findings.
Jorge Vásquez joined GRAPE in 2020 to work on EMPATHY project. He holds PhD from University of Wisconsin-Madison and works in applied theory, behavioral economics and industrial organization.
Opublikowane | Published
Co-worker altruism and unemployment | Games and Economic Behavior Przeczytaj streszczenie | Read abstract
Affective empathy in non-cooperative games | Games and Economic Behavior Przeczytaj streszczenie | Read abstract
According to psychology, affective empathy is one of the key processes governing human interactions. It refers to the automatic transmission and diffusion of emotions in response to others' emotions, which gives rise to emotional contagion. Contrary to other forms of empathy, affective empathy has received little attention in economics. In this paper, we augment the standard game-theoretic framework by allowing players to affectively empathize. Players' utility functions depend not only on the strategy prole being played, but also on the realized utilities of other players. Thus, players' realized utilities are interdependent, capturing emotional contagion. We offer a solution concept for these empathetic games and show that the set of equilibria is non-empty and, generically, finite. Motivated by psychological evidence, we analyze sympathetic and antipathetic games. In the former, players' utilities increase in others' realized utilities, capturing unconditional friendship; whereas in the latter the opposite holds, resembling hostility.