Management and Shocks to Worker Productivity

47 Pages Posted: 29 May 2019 Last revised: 4 Sep 2021

See all articles by Achyuta Adhvaryu

Achyuta Adhvaryu

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Namrata Kala

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Economics, Finance, Accounting (EFA)

Anant Nyshadham

Boston College - Department of Economics

Date Written: May 2019

Abstract

The assignment of workers to tasks is an important feature of the organization of production within firms. We study how task allocation across workers changes in response to productivity shocks. Pairing hourly productivity data from a ready-made garments firm with granular data on exposure to particulate matter pollution, we show that productivity suffers as a result of pollution shocks; this effect is heterogeneous across workers and tasks. Managers respond by reassigning workers to tasks in which they perform better on average during shocks. This response is larger for managers who we identify, via survey-based measurement, as exhibiting greater managerial attention, and these same managers are also the ones who are most able to mitigate resulting productivity declines.

Suggested Citation

Adhvaryu, Achyuta and Kala, Namrata and Nyshadham, Anant, Management and Shocks to Worker Productivity (May 2019). NBER Working Paper No. w25865, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3395629

Achyuta Adhvaryu (Contact Author)

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor ( email )

500 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

Namrata Kala

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Economics, Finance, Accounting (EFA) ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States

Anant Nyshadham

Boston College - Department of Economics ( email )

140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
37
Abstract Views
291
PlumX Metrics