Empirical Investigation of Autonomy and Motivation
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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