Job Market Paper


Batheja D., “Gender peer effects in the workplace: A field experiment in Indian call centers”

Several theories suggest that gender integration in the workplace may have negative effects in gender-segregated societies. This paper presents the results of a randomized controlled trial on the effect of gender integration on employee productivity, conducted in call centers located in five Indian cities. A total of 765 employees were randomized to either mixed gender teams (30-50% female peers) or control groups of same gender teams. I find precisely estimated zero effects on both productivity (intensive margin) and days present during study period (extensive margin) of being assigned to a mixed gender team. I also find that conditional on being assigned to mixed gender teams, women with high autonomy have higher proportion of days worked in the study period than women with low autonomy. There is an increase in the secondary outcome of peer monitoring and team support for women assigned to mixed gender teams relative to the control team. I find an increase in the secondary outcomes of knowledge sharing, dating and comfort with

the opposite gender for male employees in mixed gender teams, relative to all male teams.

      Working Paper

Batheja D. and Deolalikar A., “Effect of co-residence with parents-in-law on female labor force participation”

This paper studies the impact of co-residence with parents-in-law on female labor force participation (FLFP). We study this in the Indian context where presence of parents-in-law is common in the household. For women with young children, having a mother-in-law or father-in-law living nearby might have a positive effect on labor supply because the grandparents might provide childcare transfers. On the other hand, the parents-in-law could enforce traditional norms that constrain daughter-in-law’s labor supply. We use two rounds of IHDS panel data for the analysis taking death of a healthy parent-in-law as the exogenous variation. Our results show that co-residence with father-in-law has a significantly negative effect on women’s labor supply. Depending on the specification, losing one’s father-in-law increases the labor force participation of women by approximately 9 to 13 percentage points, compared to a similar

household where the father-in-law still co-resides in the second round. There is some effect for the loss of a working mother-in-law on FLFP, providing evidence to added worker effect in the household.

Conference Presentations: APPAM, 2017, ISLE, 2018 and IAFFE, 2017

     Work in Progress

Batheja D. and Hirshleifer S., “Feedback and productivity: A field experiment in Indian call centers”

One of the innovations in the workplace is that managers have access to detailed real time data on employee performance. Since this type of information has only become commonly available recently, in the context of work monitored by technology, there is relatively little research on how to most effectively use these massive amount of data and convey information to employees about their performance. We plan to conduct randomized controlled trial (RCT) to study the effect of absolute versus relative feedback policies on employee productivity and retention in the high employee turnover call center industry. We will test benchmark-relative feedback (performance relative to a fixed benchmark), self-relative feedback (improvements relative to one’s own performance), and peer-relative feedback (performance relative to a fixed benchmark) against each other. We will also study if the impact of these feedback policies varies along the ability distribution of employees.

Batheja D. and Cummins J., “Clinical Depression and Labor Supply”

We propose to use individual-level data from Phase-III clinical trials of a major anti-depressant medication in order to estimate the effects of clinical depression and anti-depressants on labor supply and productivity. The trials include random assignment of the drug in several doses, employ common measurements of depression and labor supply. The exclusion restriction is assured by randomization, the first-stage is guaranteed to be strong by the FDA, and by pooling multiple trials (exploiting the common measurement) we should be able to generate the most convincing and precise estimates available of the effects of mental health (care) on labor market outcomes. This is intended to be a proof-of-concept paper of the potential for using previously conducted clinical trial data in social science research.

Peer Reviewed Published Work

“Efficiency Comparison of Bus Operators in Delhi” published in Journal of Transport Literature, Volume 9, Number 1, January 2015.

Newspaper and Popular Press

“Need progressive masculinities to get feminist view” in The Tribune, August 23, 2012

“Strengthening SME sector will open up a new strategy of broad-based, fast growth,” The Economic Times, Sep 22, 2012 (with Devaki Jain)

“Women’s voices in India-China talks” in Gateway House Indian Council on Global Relations, Nov 8, 2013 (with Devaki Jain)

Photos from field experiment in Bihar, India