The Effect of Wealth Shocks on Shirking: Evidence from the Housing Market

64 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2018 Last revised: 6 Apr 2021

See all articles by Quanlin Gu

Quanlin Gu

Peking University

Jia He

Nankai University

Wenlan Qian

National University of Singapore - NUS Business School

Yuan Ren

National University of Singapore (NUS) - NUS Business School

Date Written: April 6, 2021

Abstract

This paper studies the effect of housing wealth shocks on workplace shirking behavior. We use the type and actual time stamps of 10.6 million credit card transactions by over 200,000 cardholders from a large commercial bank to detect non-work-related behavior during work hours. After positive shocks to house prices, employed homeowners in the treatment group experienced a fast and persistent increase (by 19% per month) in their propensity to use work hours to attend to personal needs. The post-shock response is more pronounced among homeowners with a greater wealth increase, among employees with poorer career potential, or for occupations with higher monitoring costs. Our estimate implies an elasticity of shirking propensity with respect to house price of 3.8.

Keywords: Labor supply, shirking, effort, wealth effect, housing wealth, incentive cost, productivity, credit card, household finance, China

JEL Classification: J22, R3, D1, E21, G21

Suggested Citation

Gu, Quanlin and He, Jia and Qian, Wenlan and Ren, Yuan, The Effect of Wealth Shocks on Shirking: Evidence from the Housing Market (April 6, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3189933 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3189933

Quanlin Gu

Peking University ( email )

Jia He

Nankai University ( email )

94 Weijin Road
Tianjin, 300071
China

Wenlan Qian (Contact Author)

National University of Singapore - NUS Business School ( email )

15 Kent Ridge Drive
Singapore 117592, 119245
Singapore
(65) 65163015 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/wenlanqian/

Yuan Ren

National University of Singapore (NUS) - NUS Business School ( email )

1 Business Link
Singapore, 117592
Singapore

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