The Ties That Bind Us: Social Networks and Productivity in the Factory
Wednesday, September 18, 7:00PM (New Delhi)
Speaker: Dr. Amrita Dhillon, Professor of Political Economy, King’s College, London.
We use high frequency worker level productivity data from garment manufacturing units in India to study the effects of caste-based social networks on individual and group productivity when workers are complements in the production function but wages are paid at the individual level. Using exogenous variation in production line composition for almost 35,000 worker-days, we find that a 1 percentage point increase in the share of own caste workers in the line increases daily individual productivity by about 10 percentage points. The lowest performing worker increases her effort by more than 15 percentage points when the production line has a more homogeneous caste composition. Production externalities that impose financial costs due to worker’s poor performance on co-workers within her social network can explain our findings. Our results suggest that even in the absence of explicit group-based financial incentives, social networks can be leveraged to improve both worker and group productivity.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER:
Amrita Dhillon is a Professor of Political Economy in the Department of Political Economy. She is also Research Group leader for Quantitative Political Economy. She graduated from SUNY Stony Brook with a PhD in 1994. Her training is in theoretical modelling including political economy, public economics, game theory and development. Her main field of research is political economy.
She has organized a number of workshops on topics ranging from Sovereign debt, reputational models in economics to a recent workshop on governance which was sponsored by the Journal of Public Economic Theory.
Moderated by: Dr. Subaran Roy, Associate Professor (Economics), JSGP