Benoît, J-P, A T. S. Perry, and E. Reuben. (2024) “Performance-Feedback.”
We conduct an online experiment to study how effective qualitative feedback is in updating beliefs, how it is used to inform decision-making, and whether there are gender differences. We run a panel study where writers complete an essay task, which is graded by evaluators who also provide written feedback on the task performance. In one treatment, writers face a choice to compete. In another, a choice to edit. Using sentiment analysis, we show that feedback is inflated when evaluators know that writers will see it. Nonetheless, it is still interpreted appropriately. There are no gender differences in the feedback given or how it is interpreted. However, we find that prior to feedback women underestimate their performance relative to men. This suggests that, in order to correct for this prior difference, feedback should be gender specific. Furthermore, we find evidence of two channels through which feedback impacts the choice to compete: a belief channel and an encouragement channel. We have some suggestive evidence that women are more responsive to the encouragement channel and less responsive to the belief channel than men. Finally, choosing to edit improves the grade performance.
Perry, Ashley T. S. “Optimal Organizational Structure.”
This paper is concerned with the relative efficiency of two organizational structures, which I call simple and complex. I model the organization as a communication network where the structure governs who communicates with whom. Workers receive a noisy signal, they meet a decision maker (DM) and communicate their information as a report. The DM must then estimate the true state of the world based on these reports. The clarity of the report is dependent on the length of the meeting and the communication ability of the worker. The DM is assumed to have a greater value of opportunity cost than the workers. I show that even in the absence of strategic incentives that different communication structures can be preferred.
Perry, Ashley T. S. “Competition for Informal and Formal Hiring.”
Hiring an employee from an internal recommendation is an established informal recruitment method in many labour markets as it helps to recruit high ability candidates. The conditions under which a worker is hired by a referral are not well established though. For an individual worker, the probability of being hired by a referral is heterogeneous. I propose a model that accounts for the heterogeneity in this probability due to competition for this valuable recruitment method. Firms pay a cost to acquire a recruitment technology that allows them to access this informal channel. I explore two cases of informal hiring. In the first case there is no correlation between the referees ability and their ability to refer a high quality candidate. In the second case there is a positive correlation. Firms hire by either a referral or in an open competitive market. The referral is advantageous to the firm as it provides information on the productivity of the potential new employee. I show that for an unemployed worker the probability they are hired by a referral is related to the cost of referral, the proportion of high ability candidates and the signal quality of the recruitment technology.
Perry, Ashley T. S. (2015) “Communication in a network game of strategic complements and incomplete information.”