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Behavioral Economics Workshop: Elizabeth Linos

Tuesday, May 11, 2021 at 11:15am to 12:45pm

Virtual Event

Elizabeth Linos, University of California, Berkeley

Burnout on the Front Line 

A paper is not available at this time, but will share something closer to the date.

Abstract:  Government agencies around the world struggle to retain frontline workers, as high job demands and low job resources contribute to persistently high rates of employee burnout. Although four decades of research has documented the predictors and potential costs of frontline worker burnout, we have limited causal evidence on strategies that reduce it. In this talk, I will report on a multi-city field experiment (n=536) aimed at affirming social belonging among 911 dispatchers. We find that a six-week intervention that prompts dispatchers to share advice anonymously and asynchronously with their peers in other cities reduces burnout by 8 points (0.4 SD) and cuts resignations by more than half (3.4 percentage points) four months after the intervention ended. We provide supporting evidence that the intervention operates by increasing perceived social belonging in an online laboratory experiment and additional survey experiments. These findings suggest that low-cost belonging affirmation techniques can reduce frontline worker burnout and help agencies retain workers, saving a mid-sized city at least $400,000 in personnel costs.

Dial-In Information

If you are interested in participating in this seminar, please register at:

Note: If you have previously registered for the Spring 2021 Behavioral Economics Workshop, there is no need to re-register.

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Event Type

Seminar, Class/ Workshop




economics, EconSeminar, EconBehave

Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Ulrike Kroeller


Elizabeth Linos

Speaker Affiliation

University of California, Berkeley

Open To

Cornell Economics Community - List Serve Members