Why the Referential Treatment? Evidence from Field Experiments on Referrals

Citation:

Pallais A, Sands EG. Why the Referential Treatment? Evidence from Field Experiments on Referrals. Working Paper.
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Abstract:

This paper presents the results of three field experiments in an online labor market designed to determine whether referred workers perform better than non-referred workers and, if so, why. We hired workers and asked them to refer others; we then hired all referred and non-referred applicants. Referred workers performed better and had less turnover than non-referred workers. We find that this is partially due to selection: referrals outperformed non-referred workers even without any on-the-job interactions with their referrers. We find also that team production is important: referrals performed particularly well when working with their referrers.

Notes:

(Under Review)