This setting lets you change the way you view articles. You can choose to have articles open in a dialog window, a new tab, or directly in the same window.
Open in Dialog
Open in New Tab
Open in same window

American Economic Journal: Applied Economics: Vol. 3 No. 1 (January 2011)

Expand

Quick Tools:

Print Article Summary
Export Citation
Sign up for Email Alerts Follow us on Twitter Subscription Information
(Institutional Administrator Access)

Explore:

AEJ: Applied - All Issues

AEJ: Applied Forthcoming Articles

Was There Really a Hawthorne Effect at the Hawthorne Plant? An Analysis of the Original Illumination Experiments

Article Citation

Levitt, Steven D., and John A. List. 2011. "Was There Really a Hawthorne Effect at the Hawthorne Plant? An Analysis of the Original Illumination Experiments." American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 3(1): 224-38.

DOI: 10.1257/app.3.1.224

Abstract

The "Hawthorne effect" draws its name from a landmark set of studies conducted at the Hawthorne plant in the 1920s. The data from the first and most influential of these studies, the "Illumination Experiment," were never formally analyzed and were thought to have been destroyed. Our research has uncovered these data. Existing descriptions of supposedly remarkable data patterns prove to be entirely fictional. We do find more subtle manifestations of possible Hawthorne effects. We also propose a new means of testing for Hawthorne effects based on excess responsiveness to experimenter- induced variations relative to naturally occurring variation. (JEL C90, J24, J28, M12, M54, N32)

Article Full-Text Access

Full-text Article

Additional Materials

Download Data Set (209.00 KB) | Online Appendix (24.11 KB)

Authors

Levitt, Steven D. (U Chicago)
List, John A. (U Chicago)

JEL Classifications

C90: Design of Experiments: General
J24: Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
J28: Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
M12: Personnel Management; Executive Compensation
M54: Personnel Economics: Labor Management
N32: Economic History: Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy: U.S.; Canada: 1913-

Comments

View Comments on This Article (0) | Login to post a comment


American Economic Journal: Applied Economics


Quick Tools:

Sign up for Email Alerts

Follow us on Twitter

Subscription Information
(Institutional Administrator Access)

Explore:

AEJ: Applied - All Issues

AEJ: Applied - Forthcoming Articles

Virtual Field Journals


AEA Member Login:


AEAweb | AEA Journals | Contact Us