NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Expectations, Wage Hikes, and Worker Voice: Evidence from a Field Experiment

Achyuta Adhvaryu, Teresa Molina, Anant Nyshadham

NBER Working Paper No. 25866
Issued in May 2019
NBER Program(s):Development Economics, Labor Studies, Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship

Hirschman's (1970) seminal thesis that enabling worker “voice” prevents exit from the employment relationship has played a foundational role in labor economics. We provide the first experimental test of this hypothesis in a real-world setting via a randomized controlled trial in Indian garment factories. Just after what proved to be a disappointing wage hike, workers were chosen at random to participate in an anonymous survey in which they were asked for feedback on job conditions, supervisor performance, and overall job satisfaction. Enabling voice in this manner reduced turnover and absenteeism after the hike, particularly for the most disappointed workers.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w25866

 
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