Events at CERGE-EI

Monday, 11 March, 2019 | 13:00 | Applied Micro Research Seminar

Joshua Dean, Ph.D. (briq Institute on Behavior & Inequality, Bonn) “Noise, Cognitive Function, and Worker Productivity”

Joshua Dean, Ph.D.

briq Institute on Behavior & Inequality, Bonn, Germany


Author: Joshua T. Dean

Abstract: I investigate the relationship between noise and worker productivity with two experiments in Kenya. I first randomize exposure to engine noise during a textile training course. An increase of 10 dB reduces productivity by approximately 5%. I then randomize engine noise during tests of cognitive function and effort. The same noise change impairs cognitive function but not effort, suggesting the importance of cognitive function as a mechanism. Finally, I demonstrate individuals neglect the effects of noise by showing performance pay does not increase willingness to pay for quiet working conditions. Individuals are thus unlikely to act to mitigate these effects.
Full Text: “Noise, Cognitive Function, and Worker Productivity”