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Multi-tasking and the Returns to Experience

Chaudhury, Parama; (2016) Multi-tasking and the Returns to Experience. In: Kalenkoski, C and Foster, G, (eds.) The Economics of Multi-tasking. (pp. 173-201). Palgrave Macmillan Green open access

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In this paper, I study how an increase in the use of new work practices that involve multitasking has affected the returns to experience. If each task in a job has a concave learning curve, then increasing the number of tasks may increase the returns to experience. Using the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, I provide evidence for the conclusion that successive cohorts have had greater returns to experience. Next, I construct proxies for multitasking using Paul Osterman’s 1992 survey of workplace practices in U.S. establishments, and find that (i) later cohorts choose jobs with greater multitasking, (ii) the rate of within-job wage growth rises with the degree of multitasking, and (iii) the returns to experience are larger in jobs with more multitasking. Finally, I find mixed evidence on the effect of unobserved heterogeneity, which implies that part of these larger returns to experience may be because those in jobs with more multitasking have higher unobserved ability.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Multi-tasking and the Returns to Experience
ISBN-13: 9781137381439
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1057/9781137381446
Publisher version: http://www.palgrave.com/us/book/9781137381439
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Multi-tasking, teams, returns to experience.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Economics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1522289
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