Sick of Your Colleagues' Absence?
AbstractWe utilize a large-scale randomized social experiment to identify how coworkers affect each other's effort as measured by work absence. The experiment altered the work absence incentives for half of all employees living in Göteborg, Sweden. Using administrative data we are able to recover the treatment status of all workers in more than 3,000 workplaces. We first document that employees in workplaces with a high proportion treated coworkers increase their own absence level significantly. We then examine the heterogeneity of the treatment effect in order to explore what mechanisms are underlying the peer effect. While a strong effect of having a high proportion of treated coworkers is found for the nontreated workers, no significant effects are found for the treated workers. These results suggest that pure altruistic social preferences can be ruled out as the main motivator for the behaviour of a nonnegligible proportion of the employees in our sample.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3960.
Length: 17 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of European Economic Association, 2009, 7 (2–3), 1–12
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Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Other versions of this item:
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-02-14 (All new papers)
- NEP-EXP-2009-02-14 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-LAB-2009-02-14 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2009-02-14 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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