NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Tanjim Hossain

Contact and additional information for this authorAll papers and publicationsWorking Papers onlyWorking Papers with publication info

Working Papers

November 2013Testing the Theory of Multitasking: Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment in Chinese Factories
with Fuhai Hong, John A. List, Migiwa Tanaka: w19660
A well-recognized problem in the multitasking literature is that workers might substantially reduce their effort on tasks that produce unobservable outputs as they seek the salient rewards to observable outputs. Since the theory related to multitasking is decades ahead of the empirical evidence, the economic costs of standard incentive schemes under multitasking contexts remain largely unknown. This study provides empirical insights quantifying such effects using a field experiment in Chinese factories. Using more than 2200 data points across 126 workers, we find sharp evidence that workers do trade off the incented output (quantity) at the expense of the non-incented one (quality) as a result of a piece rate bonus scheme. Consistent with our theoretical model, treatment effects are muc...
December 2009The Behavioralist Visits the Factory: Increasing Productivity Using Simple Framing Manipulations
with John A. List: w15623
Recent discoveries in behavioral economics have led to important new insights concerning what can happen in markets. Such gains in knowledge have come primarily via laboratory experiments—a missing piece of the puzzle in many cases is parallel evidence drawn from naturally-occurring field counterparts. We provide a small movement in this direction by taking advantage of a unique opportunity to work with a Chinese high-tech manufacturing facility. Our study revolves around using insights gained from one of the most influential lines of behavioral research—framing manipulations—in an attempt to increase worker productivity in the facility. Using a natural field experiment, we report several insights. For example, conditional incentives framed as both “losses” and “gains” increase produc...

Contact and additional information for this authorAll papers and publicationsWorking Papers onlyWorking Papers with publication info

 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us