Truckers and Turnover

Tuesday, September 18, 2007 - 4:00pm

About the Event

The Truckers and Turnover Project is a statistical case study of a single firm and its employees. It matches proprietary personnel and operational data to new data collected by the researchers to create a two-year panel study of 1,000 new hires.

The project's most distinctive innovation is the data collection process, which combines traditional survey instruments with behavioral economics experiments. The survey data include information on demographics, risk and loss aversion, time preferences, planning, non-verbal IQ, and the MPQ personality profile. The data collected by behavioral economics experiments include risk and loss aversion, time preferences, backward induction capacity, patience, and the preference for cooperation in a social dilemma setting. Subjects are being followed over two years of their work lives.

Among the major design goals are to discover the extent to which the survey and experimental measures are correlated, and whether and how much predictive power, with respect to key on-the-job outcome variables (e.g., retention, productivity), is added by the behavioral measures. This is a high-turnover service industry setting, and the focus is on the use of survival analysis to model the flow of new employees into and out of employment, and on the correct estimation of the tenure-productivity curve for new hires, accounting for the selection effects of the high turnover.


Stephen Burks, Department of Economics, University of Minnesota Morris