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Using Behavioral Economic Field Experiments at a Firm

Using Behavioral Economic Field Experiments at a Firm

The Context and Design of the Truckers and Turnover Project

(p.45) 2 Using Behavioral Economic Field Experiments at a Firm
The Analysis of Firms and Employees
Stephen V. BurksJeffrey CarpenterLorenz GötteKristen MonacoKay PorterAldo Rustichini
University of Chicago Press

The Truckers and Turnover Project is a statistical case study of a single large trucking firm and its driver employees. The cooperating firm operates in the largest segment of the for-hire trucking industry in the United States, the “full truckload” (TL) segment, in which approximately 800,000 people are employed. The TL segment has a high turnover labor market for its main employee group, tractor-trailer drivers, and the project is designed to address a number of academic and business questions that arise in this setting. The most distinctive innovation of this project component is the data collection process, which combines traditional survey instruments with behavioral economics experiments. Using behavioral economics field experiments, this chapter examines the context and design of the Truckers and Turnover Project. It first describes the U.S. trucking industry and the role of the TL segment within it. It then discusses the nature of the labor market for TL drivers, explains why it has had a high turnover equilibrium for about twenty-five years, and presents preliminary findings on employee turnover and productivity.

Keywords:   Truckers and Turnover Project, employee turnover, trucking industry, tractor-trailer drivers, behavioral economics, full truckload, productivity, labor market, United States, field experiments

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