Man's search for meaning: The case of Legos
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We investigate how perceived meaning influences labor supply. In a laboratory setting, we manipulate the perceived meaning of simple, repetitive tasks and find a strong influence on subjects' labor supply. Despite the fact that the wage and the task are identical across the conditions in each experiment, subjects in the less meaningful conditions exhibit reservation wages that are consistently much higher than the subjects in the more meaningful conditions. The result replicates across different types of tasks. Moreover, in the more meaningful conditions, subjects' productivity influences labor supply more strongly. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1016/j.jebo.2008.01.004
Publication InfoAriely, D; Kamenica, E; & Prelec, D (2008). Man's search for meaning: The case of Legos. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 67(3-4). pp. 671-677. 10.1016/j.jebo.2008.01.004. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/6324.
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James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Behavioral Economics
HI, I'M DAN ARIELY. I do research in behavioral economics and try to describe it in plain language. These findings have enriched my life, and my hope is that they will do the same for you. My immersive introduction to irrationality took place many years ago while I was overcoming injuries sustained in an explosion. The range of treatments in the burn department, and particularly the daily “bath” mad