Employee On-the-Job Behavior: A Critical Survey of Economic Models

46 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2008

Date Written: July 16, 2008


The economic analysis of employee on-the-job behavior (OJB) provides foundations for the modeling of workplace equilibrium, which powerfully augments marketplace equilibrium and deserves greater attention from theorists. This paper seeks to stimulate interest in the formal modeling of optimizing workplace exchange by critically reviewing the small existing literature. The first section outlines the various theories' common analytic framework. Second, the models that posit a dominating worker preference to loaf on the job are summarized. Particular attention is paid the Shapiro-Stiglitz (1984) shirking theory, which is the default model of employee OJB for most economists. The third part reviews the theories, inspired by human-resource practices ubiquitously used in large firms and well documented in the management literature, that critically posit worker preference for fair treatment by management. The final section assesses the various models.

Keywords: On-the-job behavior, workplace equilibrium, wages, shirking theory, human-resource management

JEL Classification: A14, D23, E23, E24, J20, J30, J33, J50, M50

Suggested Citation

Annable, James, Employee On-the-Job Behavior: A Critical Survey of Economic Models (July 16, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1161993 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1161993

James Annable (Contact Author)

GEM Project ( email )

4001 North Ravenswood
Chicago, IL 60613
United States
312-415-6642 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.gemproj.org

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