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It does not matter how hard you work: The importance of task allocation for worker productivity

Sheveleva, Lena ORCID:, Jones, Melanie ORCID: and Harris, Irina ORCID: 2023. It does not matter how hard you work: The importance of task allocation for worker productivity. Economics Letters 227 , 111115. 10.1016/j.econlet.2023.111115

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Using detailed high-frequency administrative data from a large retailer with an online presence in the UK we explore the determinants of worker productivity in a warehouse decant process. We distinguish between worker characteristics, time-specific effects, and task allocation as determinants of productivity and find a dominant role of the latter. This raises concerns about the assumption of random or identical task allocation made in studies when tasks are unobserved. This is especially relevant in the presence of output-related reward systems when workers will have an incentive to influence task allocation.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0165-1765
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 11 April 2023
Date of Acceptance: 7 April 2023
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2023 17:55

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