Revenge is expensive

Those who take revenge for sub, pay for it themselves in their working lives, according to a study by the Universities of Bonn and Maastricht

"Tit for tat" brings only disadvantages to the bottom line, at least in the vindictive export of this principle. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, proves uneconomical. According to the study, those who live according to the maxim from the Old Testament have fewer friends, are more often unemployed and are less satisfied with their lives.

The information of 20 German representatives was evaluated.000 Germans according to their living conditions and at the same time according to their attitude to principle "An eye for an eye". The data come from the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), a representative repeat survey of private households in Germany by the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW).

The researchers defined the eye-for-an-eye principle as both positive and negative reciprocity, the sociological term for mutuality, where in the positive in the sense of "Give and take" be reacted to. "Both positive and negative reciprocity are very common in Germany", calls Prof. Dr. Armin Falk of the Institute for Social and Economic Sciences at the University of Bonn as the first result.

The study "Homo Reciprocans: Survey Evidence on Behavioural Outcomes", published in The Economic Journal, was intended to complement the experimental literature and relates specifically to the labor market. The authors state as a result: "We observe that the principle of reciprocity plays a role and the way it plays out is largely consistent with experimental evidence. In particular, positive reciprocity is linked to higher salaries and harder labor. The tendency to negative reciprocity tends to lead to lower performance efforts. Negative reciprocity increases the probability of being unemployed."

Employees who are prone to positive reciprocity are the ones who do well in the economy, explains Prof. Dr. Dr. Wolfgang Schafer, who was also involved in the study. Dr. Thomas Dohmen of the University of Maastricht: "They tend to work more overtime on average, but only if they feel the pay is fair. Since they are sensitive to performance incentives, they tend to earn more money as well."

This is in complete contrast to the "Vengeful", where the equation "more money = more work" not always true, but salary cuts also did not have a performance-enhancing effect: "Based on these theoretical considerations, it would be natural to expect that those with a tendency to negative reciprocity would more often lose their jobs. An amption that is confirmed by our results. As a result, they are affected by a much higher unemployment rate."

So it is better not to react at all to experienced injustices in order to keep your job, friends and satisfaction? And certainly not to come out as an advocate of justice at the job interview? The study, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the European Research Council (ERC), indirectly suggests that.

The Dow Jones economic service Market Watch also gladly took up the message. Professor Dohmen, who is co-responsible for the study, is also quoted here with the expressive warning against the attempt to "Vengeful" with salary shortages to the Rason. This rather favors the danger of their revenge through refusal to work or even sabotage.

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