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Workplace goals and output quality: evidence from time-constrained recruiting goals in the US navy


  • Jeremy Arkes
  • Jesse M. Cunha


This paper examines how workplace goals affect the quality of worker output, using data from the recruiting command of the US Navy. Recruiting stations and recruiters are assigned monthly goals for the quantity of new recruits that may create an unintended incentive to sacrifice quality, especially towards the end of the month. Using data on the universe of Navy recruits from FY1998 to 2010, we find significant reductions in the quality of recruits towards the end of the contracting month, both in terms of pre-existing quality of recruits and in medium-term outcomes that reflect the quality of the job match.

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  • Jeremy Arkes & Jesse M. Cunha, 2015. "Workplace goals and output quality: evidence from time-constrained recruiting goals in the US navy," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(5), pages 491-515, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:defpea:v:26:y:2015:i:5:p:491-515
    DOI: 10.1080/10242694.2014.891352

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Golan, Amos & Greene, William & Perloff, Jeffrey M., 2010. "U.S. Navy Promotion and Retention by Race and Sex," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt67w0q165, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
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