Housing Booms and Shirking

68 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2018 Last revised: 23 Sep 2022

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

Zhejiang University

Date Written: September 20, 2021


This paper studies the effect of housing wealth shocks on workplace shirking. We use the type and actual time stamps of credit card transactions to detect non-work-related behavior during work hours. After positive shocks to house prices, affected homeowners 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, 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, Housing Booms and Shirking (September 20, 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

Wenlan Qian (Contact Author)

National University of Singapore - NUS Business School ( email )

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

Yuan Ren

Zhejiang University ( email )

38 Zheda Road
Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310058

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