Man's search for meaning: The case of Legos


Journal Article

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.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Ariely, D; Kamenica, E; Prelec, D

Published Date

  • September 1, 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 67 / 3-4

Start / End Page

  • 671 - 677

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0167-2681

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jebo.2008.01.004

Citation Source

  • Scopus