Kurtulus, Fidan

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Associate Professor, Department of Economics
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Fidan Ana Kurtulus' research lies at the intersection of labor economics and the economics of organizations. Her research explores different aspects of firms' decisions on how to organize their workers and the consequences of these decisions on worker and firm behavior. In particular, she has examined the benefits of team production, the effects of heterogeneity in demographic and skill characteristics within work-groups, and the importance of accounting for the extent of authority which firms delegate to workers in understanding the relationship between production uncertainty and incentive pay.

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Now showing 1 - 6 of 6
  • Publication
    What Types of Diversity Benefit Workers? Empirical Evidence on the Effects of Co-Worker Dissimilarity on the Performance of Employees
    (2011-06-01) Kurtulus, Fidan Ana
    This paper explores the consequences of grouping workers into diverse divisions on the performance of employees using a dataset containing the detailed personnel records of a large U.S. firm from 1989-1994. In particular, I examine the effects of demographic dissimilarity among co-workers, namely differences in age, gender and race among employees who work together within divisions, and non-demographic dissimilarity, namely differences in education, work function, firm tenure, division tenure, performance and wages among employees within divisions. I find evidence that age dissimilarity, dissimilarity in firm tenure, and performance dissimilarity are associated with lower worker performance, while wage differences are associated with higher worker performance. My analysis also reveals that the effects of certain types of dissimilarities get smaller in magnitude the longer a worker is a part of a division. Finally, the paper provides evidence that the relationships between performance and the various measures of dissimilarity vary by occupational area and division size.
  • Publication
    Worker Attitudes Towards Employee Ownership, Profit Sharing and Variable Pay
    (2011-06-01) Kurtulus, Fidan Ana; Kruse, Douglas; Blasi, Joseph
    Using the NBER Shared Capitalism Database comprised of over 40,000 employee surveys from 14 firms, we investigate worker attitudes towards employee ownership, profit sharing, and variable pay. Specifically, our study uses detailed survey questions on preferences over profit sharing, forms of employee ownership like company stock and stock option ownership, as well as preferences over variable pay in general, to explore how preferences for these different types of output-contingent pay vary with worker risk aversion, residual control, and views of co-workers and management. Our key results show that, on average, workers want at least a part of their compensation to be performance-related, with stronger preferences for output-contingent pay schemes among workers who have lower levels of risk aversion, greater residual control over the work process, and greater trust of co-workers and management
  • Publication
    An Empirical Analysis of Risk Preferences, Compensation Risk, and Employee Outcomes
    (2011-06-01) Kurtulus, Fidan Ana; Kruse, Douglas; Blasi, Joseph
    We use the NBER Shared Capitalism Database comprised of more than 40,000 employee surveys from 14 firms to explore whether a close match between workers’ risk preferences and the riskiness of their compensation packages relates to improved employee outcomes including lower absenteeism, lower shirking, lower probability of voluntary turnover, greater worker motivation, and higher levels of job satisfaction and loyalty. To do this, we use survey questions reflecting workers’ risk aversion parameters, coupled with a series of measures of the riskiness of workers’ compensation packages including the proportion of pay comprised of various forms of shared capitalism such as profit and gain sharing, ownership of company stock, and bonus arrangements. The primary finding of our paper is that a match between the workers’ risk preferences and the extent of risk in their compensation increases workers’ motivation, job satisfaction, company attachment, and loyalty, but risk-averse workers are generally less responsive to a preference-compensation match than risk-loving workers.
  • Publication
    What types of organizations benefit from teams, and how do they benefit?
    (2011-06-01) Devaro, Jed; Kurtulus, Fidan Ana
    Using data from a large cross-section of British establishments, we ask how different firm characteristics are associated with the predicted benefits to organizational performance from using team production. To compute the predicted benefits from using team production, we estimate structural models for financial performance, labor productivity, and product quality, treating the firm’s choices of whether or not to use teams and whether or not to grant teams autonomy as endogenous. One of the main results is that many firm characteristics are associated with larger predicted benefits from teams to labor productivity and product quality but smaller predicted benefits to financial performance. For example, this is true for union recognition as measured by the number of recognized unions in an establishment. Similarly, when a particular firm characteristic is associated with lower benefits from teams to labor productivity or product quality, the same characteristic is frequently associated with higher predicted benefits to financial performance. This is true for the degree of financial participation and employee ownership and also for establishment size and a number of industries. These results highlight the advantages of analyzing broader measures of organizational performance that are more inclusive of the wide spectrum of benefits and costs associated with teams than the labor productivity measures frequently studied in the teams literature.
  • Publication
    Do Women Top Managers Help Women Advance? A Panel Study Using EEO-1 Records
    (2011-06-01) Kurtulus, Fidan Ana; Tomaskovic-Devey, Donald
    The goal of this study is to examine whether women in the highest levels of management ranks of firms help reduce barriers to advancement in the workplace faced by women. Using a panel of over 20,000 private-sector firms across all industries and states during 1990-2003 from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, we explore the influence of women in top management on subsequent female representation in lower-level managerial positions in U.S. firms. Our key findings show that an increase in the share of female top managers is associated with subsequent increases in the share of women in mid-level management positions within firms, and this result is robust to controlling for firm size, workforce composition, federal contractor status, firm fixed effects, year fixed effects and industry-specific trends. The influence of women in top management positions is stronger among federal contractors, in firms with larger female labor forces, and for white women. We also find that the positive influence of women in top leadership positions on managerial gender diversity diminishes over time, suggesting that women at the top play a positive but transitory role in women’s career advancement.
  • Publication
    An Empirical Analysis of Risk, Incentives and The Delegation of Worker Authority
    (2011-06-01) Devaro, Jed; Kurtulus, Fidan Ana
    The authors empirically test Prendergast’s (2002) theory that incorporates the delegation of worker authority into the principal-agent model to explain the lack of consistent empirical support for a tradeoff between risk and incentives. Using data from the 1998 British WERS, the authors investigate whether there is: 1) evidence of a risk-incentives tradeoff as predicted by the principal-agent model; 2) evidence of a positive relationship between incentive pay and the delegation of worker authority; 3) evidence of a positive relationship between risk and authority; 4) support for the main testable implication of Prendergast’s model, namely that the evidence favoring a risk-incentives tradeoff should strengthen when authority controls are added to the empirical model. The answers are affirmative for all four questions, thereby providing evidence clarifying the relationship between risk and incentive pay and how managers optimally bundle incentive pay and the delegation of worker decision rights to cope with risk.