NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Stephen V. Burks

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Working Papers

March 2017Training Contracts, Employee Turnover, and the Returns from Firm-sponsored General Training
with Mitchell Hoffman: w23247
Firms may be reluctant to provide general training if workers can quit and use their gained skills elsewhere. “Training contracts” that impose a penalty for premature quitting can help alleviate this inefficiency. Using plausibly exogenous contractual variation from a leading trucking firm, we show that two training contracts significantly reduced post-training quitting, particularly when workers are approaching the end of their contracts. Simulating a structural model, we show that observed worker quit behavior exhibits aspects of optimization (for one of the two contracts), and that the contracts increased firm profits from training and reduced worker welfare relative to no contract.
Worker Overconfidence: Field Evidence and Implications for Employee Turnover and Returns from Training
with Mitchell Hoffman: w23240
Combining weekly productivity data with weekly productivity beliefs for a large sample of truckers over two years, we show that workers tend to systematically and persistently over-predict their productivity. If workers are overconfident about their own productivity at the current firm relative to their outside option, they should be less likely to quit. Empirically, all else equal, having higher productivity beliefs is associated with an employee being less likely to quit. To study the implications of overconfidence for worker welfare and firm profits, we estimate a structural learning model with biased beliefs that accounts for many key features of the data. While worker overconfidence moderately decreases worker welfare, it also substantially increases firm profits. This may be critical...
March 2007Using Behavioral Economic Field Experiments at a Large Motor Carrier: The Context and Design of the Truckers and Turnover Project
with Jeffrey Carpenter, Lorenz Goette, Kristen Monaco, Aldo Rustichini: w12976
The Truckers and Turnover Project is a statistical case study of a single firm and its employees which matches proprietary personnel and operational data to new data collected by the researchers to create a two-year panel study of a large subset of new hires. The project's most distinctive innovation is the data collection process which combines traditional survey instruments with behavioral economics experiments. The survey data include information on demographics, risk and loss aversion, time preference, planning, non-verbal IQ, and the MPQ personality profile. The data collected by behavioral economics experiments include risk and loss aversion, time preferences (discount rates), backward induction, patience, and the preference for cooperation in a social dilemma setting. Subjects w...
Using Behavioral Economic Field Experiments at a Large Motor Carrier: The Context and Design of the Truckers and Turnover Project
with Jeffrey Carpenter, Lorenz Goette, Kristen Monaco, Aldo Rustichini: w12976
The Truckers and Turnover Project is a statistical case study of a single firm and its employees which matches proprietary personnel and operational data to new data collected by the researchers to create a two-year panel study of a large subset of new hires. The project's most distinctive innovation is the data collection process which combines traditional survey instruments with behavioral economics experiments. The survey data include information on demographics, risk and loss aversion, time preference, planning, non-verbal IQ, and the MPQ personality profile. The data collected by behavioral economics experiments include risk and loss aversion, time preferences (discount rates), backward induction, patience, and the preference for cooperation in a social dilemma setting. Subjects w...

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers onlyInformation about this author at RePEc

 
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