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Empirical Investigation of Autonomy and Motivation

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  • Kameliia Petrova

    (Boston College)

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    Abstract

    I study the effect of workers' motivation on the firm's choice of how much autonomy employees should be given. The main hypothesis of the paper is that employers give autonomy to workers who are already especially motivated. The empirical work is based on data from Wave 1 of the Health and Retirement Survey (HRS), a nationally representative longitudinal study of health, retirement, and aging. The HRS provides unique information on individual's motives and autonomy on the job. Estimating a continuous latent variable model, I find evidence that motivated workers are more likely to be in autonomous jobs, and that they receive higher wages in autonomous jobs.

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    File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/lab/papers/0510/0510010.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Labor and Demography with number 0510010.

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    Length: 19 pages
    Date of creation: 10 Oct 2005
    Date of revision: 13 Oct 2005
    Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:0510010

    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 19
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    Web page: http://128.118.178.162

    Related research

    Keywords: Personnel Management; Intrinsic Motivation; Decentralization;

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    1. Philippe Aghion & Jean Tirole, 1994. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Working papers 95-8, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    2. Frey, Bruno S & Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, 1997. "The Cost of Price Incentives: An Empirical Analysis of Motivation Crowding-Out," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 746-55, September.
    3. Falk, Armin & Fehr, Ernst, 2002. "Psychological Foundations of Incentives," CEPR Discussion Papers 3185, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Roland Benabou & Jean Tirole, 2003. "Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(3), pages 489-520, 07.
    5. James J. Heckman, 1977. "Dummy Endogenous Variables in a Simultaneous Equation System," NBER Working Papers 0177, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Kevin Murdock, 2002. "Intrinsic Motivation and Optimal Incentive Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(4), pages 650-671, Winter.
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