New Publication at NBER

15 Dec 2022

New paper on "Risk Management and the Autonomy of Labor" published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).

The new paper by Andreas Dambaur - PhD candidate and research assistant in our team - and other authors, on the topic of Risk Management and the Autonomy of Labor has been published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).


Foresightful workers can take actions to reduce their exposure to risk in labor markets, but existing evidence on narrow bracketing suggests that individuals might not optimally integrate risk reduction decisions with subsequent labor decisions. In an online labor market, we vary the level of worker autonomy when transcribing a set of documents and measure the willingness to do preventative tasks to reduce the expected total task length. If workers integrate their risk management decisions with subsequent labor effort, the high-autonomy group should be more likely to engage in prevention, since they can adjust their work to accommodate the preventative effort. In contrast, if workers narrowly bracket the decision, it should not be affected by autonomy. We find that workers in the high autonomy condition are more likely to undertake prevention, consistent with an integrated view of risk management and later labor decisions. Our results have implications for designing effective incentive systems, particularly in times of the gig-economy and rising popularity of working from home.