Non-Employment Benefits and the Evolution of Worker-Employer Cooperation: Experiments with Real and Computational Agents

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2001-06-01
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Pingle, Mark
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Tesfatsion, Leigh
Professor Emeritus
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Economics

The Department of Economic Science was founded in 1898 to teach economic theory as a truth of industrial life, and was very much concerned with applying economics to business and industry, particularly agriculture. Between 1910 and 1967 it showed the growing influence of other social studies, such as sociology, history, and political science. Today it encompasses the majors of Agricultural Business (preparing for agricultural finance and management), Business Economics, and Economics (for advanced studies in business or economics or for careers in financing, management, insurance, etc).

History
The Department of Economic Science was founded in 1898 under the Division of Industrial Science (later College of Liberal Arts and Sciences); it became co-directed by the Division of Agriculture in 1919. In 1910 it became the Department of Economics and Political Science. In 1913 it became the Department of Applied Economics and Social Science; in 1924 it became the Department of Economics, History, and Sociology; in 1931 it became the Department of Economics and Sociology. In 1967 it became the Department of Economics, and in 2007 it became co-directed by the Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Business.

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1898–present

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  • Department of Economic Science (1898–1910)
  • Department of Economics and Political Science (1910-1913)
  • Department of Applied Economics and Social Science (1913–1924)
  • Department of Economics, History and Sociology (1924–1931)
  • Department of Economics and Sociology (1931–1967)

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Abstract

Experiments with real and computational agents are used to examine the impact of changing the level of a non-employment payoff on the evolution of cooperation between workers and employers participating in a sequential employment game with incomplete contracts. Workers either direct work offers to preferred employers or choose unemployment. and receive the non-employment payoff. Subject to capacity limitations, employers either accept work offers from preferred workers or remain-vacant' and receive the non-employment payoff. Matched workers and. employers participate in an employment relationship modeled as a prisoner's dilemma game. • In both types of experiments, increases in the non-employment payoff result in higher unemployment and vacancy rates while at the same time encouraging higher rates of cooperation among the workers and . employers who do form matches. However, the behaviors exhibited by the computational agents are coordinated to a higher degree than the behaviors of .the human subjects.. This difference , raises. challenging questions for both human-subject and computational experimentalists.

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