There’s a puzzle at the heart of our economy that has troubled economists for decades. The question is this: why do people work hard in environments where they are poorly monitored and paid a fixed wage, rather than a performance-related one.Surely any rational worker would do the bare minimum to get by.
And sure enough, the key result in Horton’s work is that worker productivity is easily pliable The big question is this: if colleagues affect each other’s work, should this influence be encouraged or discouraged in the workplace.
Horton’s answer is that it depends; but on exactly what, he has yet to nail down. Clearly, there are interesting times ahead for workers on the Mechanical Turk.
Ref: arxiv.org/abs/1008.2437: Employer Expectations, Peer Effects and Productivity: Evidence from a Series of Field Experiments
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