This paper uses a controlled experiment to investigate how subjects exposed to competition in the workplace react in terms of well-being, and how this translates into productivity. The experiment was performed in Korea, a country with an interdependent culture, and France, a country with an independent culture. Exposure to the tournament slightly improves well-being in the Korean sample and decreases it in France. This different response is driven primarily by the opposite response of female subjects, with Korean women liking and French women disliking to compete. Finally, an improvement in well-being is associated with ex-post higher productivity in France, and this positive effect is most salient in the French male population; in Korea, a similar positive effect can be observed only in the female population.
JUNG, S. et VRANCEANU, R. (2019). Competitive Compensation and Subjective Well-being: The Effect of Culture and Gender. Journal of Economic Psychology, 70, pp. 90-108.