Patrick DeJarnette, National Taiwan University
Abstract: This paper examines how past effort can impact subsequent effort, such as when effort is reduced following an interruption. I conducted 3 incentivized real-effort experiments in which both piece rates and leisure options were manipulated and find effort displays significant stickiness, even in the absence of switching costs. I demonstrate that this intertemporal evidence is indicative of effort “momentum,” rather than on-the-job learning, reciprocity, or income targeting. Five minutes after incentives return to baseline, 45% of the effort increase or decrease persists. This finding is especially relevant for studies employing individual fixed effects and for organizations concerned with worker disruptions.