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School Research Seminar Series - Employee referral, social proximity and worker discipline: Theory and Evidence from India

26 March 2014

1:00 - 2:00pmFB 1.15, 4th Floor Bancroft Building, Mile End Campus, E1 4NS

Speaker name 
Professor Amrita Dhillon, King's College London

Abstract
We develop a theory of employee referrals into informal low skilled jobs in developing countries where the strength of ties is endogenous. In our model, employers can exploit social preferences between employee referees and potential workers to improve discipline. The profitability of using referrals increases with referee stakes in the firm, and, in most cases, with the strength of the social tie between the referee and the new recruit. We provide an empirical counterpart to these results using primary data covering low- and unskilled migrants in India. Consistent with the theoretical predictions, we find a high prevalence of referral and of strong kinship ties between referees and new recruits. Finally, workplace intermediaries are different from and typically in more ‘prestigious’ jobs than those recruited.

Biography
Amrita Dhillon is a Professor of Political Economy in the Department of Political Economy at King's College London. She graduated from SUNY Stony Brook with a PhD in 1994. Her training is in theoretical modelling including Political Economy, public economics, game theory and development. Her main field of research is Political Economy. Amrita's research interests span a variety of applications of political economy from voting games where she studied issues of voter turnout and strategic voting, formation of political parties, protest movements to sovereign debt and politics where she studies how leader reputation can change default outcomes in democracies vs autocracies.

Research themes
Globalisation; Equality and Diversity; Ethics and Politics


*Chaired by: Professor Sushanta Mallick

* Lunch will be provided in the 4th floor kitchen from 12.30pm

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