Peers and Motivation at Work: Evidence from a Firm Experiment in Malawi
Eric T. Chyn and
Jason Kerwin ()
No axbth, SocArXiv from Center for Open Science
This paper studies workplace peer eﬀects by randomly varying work assignments at a tea estate in Malawi. We ﬁnd that increasing mean peer ability by 10 percent raises productivity by 0.3 percent. This eﬀect is driven by the responses of women. Neither production nor compensation externalities cause the eﬀect because workers receive piece rates and do not work in teams. Additional analyses provide no support for learning or socialization as mechanisms. Instead, peer eﬀects appear to operate through “motivation”: given the choice to be reassigned, most workers prefer working near high-ability co-workers because these peers motivate them to work harder.
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