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Empirical Investigation of Autonomy and Motivation

  • Kameliia Petrova

    (Boston College)

Registered author(s):

    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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    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
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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    1. Kevin Murdock, 2002. "Intrinsic Motivation and Optimal Incentive Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(4), pages 650-671, Winter.
    2. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2003. "Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(3), pages 489-520.
    3. Fehr, Ernst & Falk, Armin, 2002. "Psychological Foundations of Incentives," IZA Discussion Papers 507, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. 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.
    5. Philippe Aghion & Jean Tirole, 1994. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Working papers 95-8, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    6. James J. Heckman, 1977. "Dummy Endogenous Variables in a Simultaneous Equation System," NBER Working Papers 0177, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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