Spillovers and substitutability in production

Kerry L. Papps, Alex Bryson

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paper

Abstract

Can the existence of positive productivity spillovers between co-workers be explained by the presence of complementarities in a firm's production function? A simple model demonstrates that this is possible when workers perform their tasks sequentially and part of individuals' pay is determined by the firm's output, but also that negative spillovers may arise when workers can raise overall output unilaterally. Data from major league baseball support these predictions. They show that the pairs of players who are most complementary in the production process exert the largest positive spillovers on each other, but that negative spillovers predominate between all player pairs.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherIZA Institute for the Study of Labor
Pages1-29
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019

Publication series

NameIZA Discussion Paper Series
PublisherIZA Institute of Labor Economics
No.12252
ISSN (Electronic)2365-9793

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