Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters,
Arts, and Sciences
Department of Economics
University of Southern California
Kaprielian (KAP) Hall, 364E
3620 South Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90089-025
Institutional Affiliation: University of Southern California
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|May 2019||Scabs: The Social Suppression of Labor Supply|
with Emily Breza, Supreet Kaur: w25880
Social norms have the potential to alter the functioning of economic markets. We test whether norms shape the aggregate labor supply curve by preventing workers from supplying labor at wage cuts—leading decentralized individuals to implicitly behave as a cartel to maintain wage floors in their local labor markets. We partner with 183 existing employers, who offer jobs to 502 workers in informal spot labor markets in India. Unemployed workers are privately willing to accept jobs below the prevailing wage, but rarely do so when this choice is observable to other workers. In contrast, social observability does not affect labor supply at the prevailing wage. Workers give up 49% of average weekly earnings to avoid being seen as breaking the social norm. In addition, workers pay to punish anonym...
|September 2016||Voter Response to Peak and End Transfers: Evidence from a Conditional Cash Transfer Experiment|
with Sebastian Galiani, Nadya Hajj, Patrick J. McEwan, Pablo Ibarraran: w22588
In a Honduran field experiment, sequences of cash transfers to poor households varied in amount of the largest (“peak”) and last (“end”) transfers. Larger peak-end transfers increased voter turnout and the incumbent party’s vote share in the 2013 presidential election, independently of cumulative transfers. A plausible explanation is that voters succumbed to a common cognitive bias by applying peak-end heuristics. Another is that voters deliberately used peak-end transfers to update beliefs about the incumbent party. In either case, the results provide experimental evidence on the classic non-experimental finding that voters are especially sensitive to recent economic activity.