Date and Time: March 31st, 2022, 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Room: Online via Zoom
This paper presents a field experiment at a large garment factory in China to investigate how social ties between new sewing workers and their trainers affect the efficacy of on-the-job training. During the factory’s new-worker training program, we randomly pair trainers and trainees based on whether they speak the same dialects. We find that trainers voluntarily transfer more sewing techniques to trainees who speak the same dialects, thus boosting their productivity relative to those who do not. Furthermore, this positive effect of dialect ties operates through non-work-related social connectedness between trainers and trainees. Our results suggest that social connectedness could be cost-efficient leverage to reduce training costs and improve training outcomes.