Discussion Paper Details

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Title: Network Effects on Worker Productivity

Author(s): Matthew Lindquist, Jan Sauermann and Yves Zenou

Publication Date: November 2015

Keyword(s): on-the-job training, peer effects, social networks and worker productivity

Programme Area(s): Labour Economics

Abstract: We use data from an in-house call center of a multi-national mobile network operator to study how co-worker productivity affects worker productivity via network effects. We also exploit data from a field experiment to analyze how exogenous changes in worker productivity due to on-the-job training affect co-worker productivity, including non-trained workers. We show that there are strong network effects in co-worker productivity. This effect is driven by conformist behavior. We also show that exposure to trained workers increases the productivity of non-trained workers. This effect works through strategic complementarities (knowledge spillovers). We demonstrate how our network model of worker productivity can be used to inform a variety of practical decisions faced by personnel managers including the design of optimal training policy.

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Bibliographic Reference

Lindquist, M, Sauermann, J and Zenou, Y. 2015. 'Network Effects on Worker Productivity'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research.