Three essays in labor economics and applied econometrics

Authors: Lopera, Maria Adelaida
Advisor: Bellemare, CharlesShearer, Bruce
Abstract: This thesis is a collection of three essays in labour economics and applied econometrics. The first two essays investigate workers productivity and their effort choice in a tree-planting firm. The third essay studies community cooperation in a public good experiment. Beyond the econometric techniques, the convergence point of this thesis is the question of how individuals incorporate external factors into their choices. How work fatigue affects productivity, how productivity shocks affect workers' choice of effort, and how social interactions affect community cooperation. Understanding and measuring the relevance of these external factors is important for designing incentives that influence individuals to act in a desired way. Appropriate incentives are the best way to regulate behaviour without imposing restrictions and rules that are costly to enforce and may create social frictions. From the first two chapters on productivity of tree planters two interesting findings stand out. First, workers' earnings can be increased by simply rearranging the working week in different work spells. This could be an inexpensive way for certain firms to increase their labour productivity. Second, planters' optimal choice of effort depends on productivity shocks. This means that effort incentives may have heterogenous effects due to the particular shocks experienced by each worker. From the third chapter, I find that involving community leaders in the decision of contributing or not to a public good enhance community cooperation. The presence of local leaders triggers cooperative behaviour that is unconditional and independent of the expected actions of other community members.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2016
Open Access Date: 24 April 2018
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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