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Screening, competition, and jobdesign: economic origins of good jobs


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

Abstract

High-performance work systems give workers more discretion, thereby increasing effortproductivity but also shirking opportunities. We show experimentally that screening for workattitude and labor market competition are causal determinants of the viability of high-performancework systems, and we identify the complementarities between discretion, rent-sharing, andscreening that render them profitable. Two fundamentally distinct job designs emergeendogenously in our experiments: "bad" jobs with low discretion, low wages, and little rentsharing,and "good" jobs with high discretion, high wages, and substantial rent-sharing. Good jobsare profitable only if employees can be screened, and labor market competition fosters theirdissemination.

Abstract

High-performance work systems give workers more discretion, thereby increasing effortproductivity but also shirking opportunities. We show experimentally that screening for workattitude and labor market competition are causal determinants of the viability of high-performancework systems, and we identify the complementarities between discretion, rent-sharing, andscreening that render them profitable. Two fundamentally distinct job designs emergeendogenously in our experiments: "bad" jobs with low discretion, low wages, and little rentsharing,and "good" jobs with high discretion, high wages, and substantial rent-sharing. Good jobsare profitable only if employees can be screened, and labor market competition fosters theirdissemination.

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24 citations in Web of Science®
26 citations in Scopus®
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39 downloads since deposited on 11 Dec 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:1 January 2012
Deposited On:11 Dec 2012 14:07
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 16:56
Publisher:American Economic Association
Series Name:American Economic Review
ISSN:0002-8282
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1257/aer.102.2.834
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:7055

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