Competition and Well-Being

Abstract

We study the effects of competition in a context in which people's actions can not be contractually fixed. We find that in such an environment the very presence of competition does neither increase efficiency nor does it yield any payoff gains for the short side of the market. We also find that competition has a strong negative impact on social well-being, the disposition towards others, and individually experienced well-being, the emotional state, of those on the long side of the market. We conjecture that this limits the possibilities of satisfactory interaction in the future and, hence, has negative implications for efficiency in the longer-run.
Published as: Competitive Rivalry, Social Disposition and Subjective Well-Being: an Experiment in Journal of Public Economics , Vol. 93, No. 40887, 1158--1167, January, 2009