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Screening, competition, and job design: Economic origins of good jobs


Bartling, Björn; Fehr, Ernst; Schmidt, Klaus M (2012). Screening, competition, and job design: Economic origins of good jobs. American Economic Review, 102(2):834-864.

Abstract

High-performance work systems give workers more discretion,
thereby increasing effort productivity but also shirking opportunities. We show experimentally that screening for work attitude and labor market competition are causal determinants of the viability of high-performance work systems, and we identify the complementarities between discretion, rent-sharing, and screening that render them profitable. Two fundamentally distinct job designs emerge endogenously in our experiments: “bad” jobs with low discretion, low wages, and little rent-sharing and “good” jobs with high discretion, high wages, and substantial rent-sharing. Good jobs are profitable only if employees can be screened, and labor market competition fosters their dissemination.

Abstract

High-performance work systems give workers more discretion,
thereby increasing effort productivity but also shirking opportunities. We show experimentally that screening for work attitude and labor market competition are causal determinants of the viability of high-performance work systems, and we identify the complementarities between discretion, rent-sharing, and screening that render them profitable. Two fundamentally distinct job designs emerge endogenously in our experiments: “bad” jobs with low discretion, low wages, and little rent-sharing and “good” jobs with high discretion, high wages, and substantial rent-sharing. Good jobs are profitable only if employees can be screened, and labor market competition fosters their dissemination.

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24 citations in Web of Science®
26 citations in Scopus®
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141 downloads since deposited on 06 Jan 2012
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:06 Jan 2012 11:39
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:07
Publisher:American Economic Association
ISSN:0002-8282
Free access at:Related URL. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1257/aer.102.2.834
Related URLs:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/faculty/fehr/publications/Bartling_Fehr_Schmidt_AER_forthcoming.pdf
http://www.zora.uzh.ch/51731/
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:3984

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