Worker Sorting, Work Discipline and Development

Lead Research Organisation: Institute for Financial Management & Res
Department Name: Small Enterprise Finance Centre (SEFC)

Abstract

We expect the long-term beneficiaries of the research outcome to be the underemployed, low skilled population, including a significant number of women. It is this group who could potentially increase their livelihoods if policymakers could design better industrial policies to generate a larger number of employment opportunities for this group. In addition, by understanding better the characteristics of employees and their productivity, we anticipate that this research will aid human resources and management decisions at the firm-level and better tailor jobs to specific segments of the population.

In pursuing high-quality research, a major target audience is the academic community. The outcome of the study will influence our understanding of productivity differences within countries, crucial to understanding how to generate economic growth. With analytically-driven, evidence based results we hope to assist donors, in prioritizing interventions that can achieve higher returns, thus helping to create a more efficient foreign aid establishment.

- Strategy and methods for engagement of policy makers throughout the project: We intend to engage with policymakers at various stage of the project. To reach out to policy makers, we will produce a policy brief to be disseminated, invite high-level administrators to conferences where research will be discussed at conferences, as well as directly interact with relevant government authorities about the research findings. To promote policy output among the research community, we expect to have our results published in a highly respected peer-reviewed journal of economics, thus exposing numerous researchers to the ideas influencing further research and the methodology underlining it. Furthermore, the research will be presented at various relevant economic seminars. We aim to promote the research extensively within our research network associations with SME Initiative at Innovations for Poverty Action, Ideas42 as well as other formal and informal channels in various government and non-governmental organizations in which our research outcomes are used to inform policy decisions

- Monitoring and Evaluation of Impact Plan activities: First and more long-term - the findings will be shared with policy makers via conferences, policy briefs, communication (and maintained relationships) with multilateral agencies, government (national and local) as well as employers' representatives, and could eventually translate into an industrial policy. Second and immediate - the direct beneficiaries, who are the people targeted to work as data entry operators, will undertake a training and obtain a certificate whether they are selected or not for the job. Third, the research methodology itself will add to the growing practice of Randomized Control Trials experiments, adding to the knowledge and understanding of this methodology as a rigorous and increasingly recognized approach of applied research and field work (reference 1). The findings will also be disseminated during internal and external seminars, training sessions of research associates as a case study, in specialized websites (reference 2) , newsletters, policy briefs, and scrutinized by peers through academic conferences. The research outcomes will stand as an invitation for further specific research projects in the development field using this rigorous methodology as well as focusing on these particular aspects of labor productivity, work organization and self-selection in the context of developing economies.

Planned Impact

We expect the long-term beneficiaries of the research outcome to be the underemployed, low skilled population, including a significant number of women. It is this group who could potentially increase their livelihoods if policymakers could design better industrial policies to generate a larger number of employment opportunities for this group. In addition, by understanding better the characteristics of employees and their productivity, we anticipate that this research will aid human resources and management decisions at the firm-level and better tailor jobs to specific segments of the population.

In pursuing high-quality research, a major target audience is the academic community. The outcome of the study will influence our understanding of productivity differences within countries, crucial to understanding how to generate economic growth. With analytically-driven, evidence based results we hope to assist donors, in prioritizing interventions that can achieve higher returns, thus helping to create a more efficient foreign aid establishment.

- Strategy and methods for engagement of policy makers throughout the project: We intend to engage with policymakers at various stage of the project. To reach out to policy makers, we will produce a policy brief to be disseminated, invite high-level administrators to conferences where research will be discussed at conferences, as well as directly interact with relevant government authorities about the research findings. To promote policy output among the research community, we expect to have our results published in a highly respected peer-reviewed journal of economics, thus exposing numerous researchers to the ideas influencing further research and the methodology underlining it. Furthermore, the research will be presented at various relevant economic seminars. We aim to promote the research extensively within our research network associations with SME Initiative at Innovations for Poverty Action, Ideas42 as well as other formal and informal channels in various government and non-governmental organizations in which our research outcomes are used to inform policy decisions

- Monitoring and Evaluation of Impact Plan activities: First and more long-term - the findings will be shared with policy makers via conferences, policy briefs, communication (and maintained relationships) with multilateral agencies, government (national and local) as well as employers' representatives, and could eventually translate into an industrial policy. Second and immediate - the direct beneficiaries, who are the people targeted to work as data entry operators, will undertake a training and obtain a certificate whether they are selected or not for the job. Third, the research methodology itself will add to the growing practice of Randomized Control Trials experiments, adding to the knowledge and understanding of this methodology as a rigorous and increasingly recognized approach of applied research and field work (reference 1). The findings will also be disseminated during internal and external seminars, training sessions of research associates as a case study, in specialized websites (reference 2) , newsletters, policy briefs, and scrutinized by peers through academic conferences. The research outcomes will stand as an invitation for further specific research projects in the development field using this rigorous methodology as well as focusing on these particular aspects of labor productivity, work organization and self-selection in the context of developing economies.

Publications

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Description We find a Strong positive office allocation effect. This is in contrast to earlier literature (Bloom et al. (2014)) but in line with the intuition of the development economics literature. We also find evidence that negative sorting on treatment effects is mainly driven by workers with kids, low education attainment individuals.

In many countries, formal, professionally managed establishments have significantly higher productivity than informal work arrangements which are often conducted from home. To understand the impact of these establishments on productivity we use a field experiment in India to test how much of the effect is due to a causal treatment effect versus workers self-sorting into more productive work arrangements. We find a strong positive treatment effect of working from the office, but negative sorting on productivity. Even productive employees choose to work from home despite the negative treatment effect, especially if they have domestic responsibility such as child care. The effect is stronger for women and families with children.
Exploitation Route From a policy perspective, understanding the sources of productivity differences between large and small firms is crucial for evaluating the merits of policies that aim to alter the allocation of workers between these two types of firm. As a salient example, India is currently debating the implementation of a massive and extremely expensive apprenticeship system that would give large firms substantial subsidies for hiring workers and training them on the job. The argument for this policy is built on the idea that working in a large firm provides a direct, causal boost to the productivity of workers going forward. However, if the majority of the productivity gap was indeed due to the selection of better workers into large firms, then industrial policies of this type may not have the desired impact.
Sectors Financial Services, and Management Consultancy,Government, Democracy and Justice

 
Title Employment Applicant data, Survey data, Daily productivity tracker data (3 phases) 
Description 1. Survey data: Telephonic surveys and one to one interviews. 2. Productivity data: daily tracker on efficiency, error rates, breaks and time stamps 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Some of the notable impact: 1. Builiding Inbuilt models to monitor productivity will be useful in measuring efficency of employees with no strain and much quicker outputs. 2. Data will enable sorting of employees in a more informed evidence based decision making 
 
Title Efficiency Tracker 
Description We have developed a versatile data entry software which is capable of handling a wide range of data entry task and is able to accurately capture various productivity measures of the data entry operators. Along with few metrics of accuracy and speed, the software is capable of recording the idle time in which worker performs no activity on laptop. The fact that we have workers working from home necessitated that we needed to ensure they are able to work in data entry software even "without internet connection". 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2015 
Impact The software requirements for this project are different from usual Data entry software, and have required additional effort from the developers. The software fulfils a very central role in the project.