Scroll to Section:

Employers and human resource managers in all sectors face the challenge of first selecting “good” employees and, once employed, motivating them to strive. As the paper presented in this video exhibits, the two tasks are closely connected: The laboratory experiment showed that workers’ “trustworthiness”, has a strong positive impact on their inclination to return wage-gifts by working harder. Hence employers would benefit from selecting workers not only according to their abilities but also according to “trustworthiness”, FLORIAN ENGLMAIER explains.


Florian Englmaier is Professor of Organizational Economics at the Ludwig-Maximilian University Munich. Englmaier spent some years as a visiting scholar at various prestigious institutions, such as the University College London, Stanford University, and Harvard Business School.

Englmaier’s primary research interests are in organizational economics, industrial organization, and contract theory. For this research he was named Principal Investigator and Co-Director of the Organizations Research Group, funded by the LMU’s excellence fund. Englmaier investigates the nature of relationships and contracts between employers and workers, and how this may be influenced by a worker’s ‘trustworthiness’.


Original publication

Worker Characteristics and Wage Differentials: Evidence from a Gift-Exchange Experiment

Englmaier Florian, Strasser Sebastian and Winter Joachim
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization
Published in 2014

Reading recommendations

Complementarities of HRM Practices - A Case for a Behavioral Economics Perspective

Englmaier Florian and Schüssler Katharina Christine
Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics
Published in 2015

Social Preferences and Strategic Uncertainty: An Experiment on Markets and Contracts?

Cabrales Antonio, Miniaci Raffaele, Piovesan Marco and Ponti Giovanni
American Economic Review
Published in 2010

Performance Pay and Multidimensional Sorting: Productivity, Preferences, and Gender

Dohmen Thomas and Falk Armin
American Economic Review
Published in 2011