Procedural preferences for autonomy: an experimental study with Colombian workers Thesis

short description

  • Master's thesis

Thesis author

  • Prada Medina, Laura Milena

external tutor

  • Cortes, Darwin
  • Mantilla, Cesar


  • I document how the procedure of allocating barely identical tasks among team members affects productivity and the willingness to pay for repeating the job alone rather than in teams. I find a complementarity relation between the assignment procedure (by-choice, imposed by a third party with a higher hierarchy, or random) and the preferences about the task to perform. For participants in the Imposed mechanism, being assigned to a preferred task increases performance, while being imposed on a non-preferred task negatively affects performance. Moreover, I find that the participants who were more interested in paying for autonomy were those randomly assigned to be autonomous (by-choice) at the beginning of the experiment. Hence, these results suggest that people care about factors beyond payoffs, such as autonomy. Among self-employed workers, the effect on the productivity of being imposed on a non-preferred task is exacerbated, and I did not find any statistical impact on the willingness to pay for playing alone.

publication date

  • July 29, 2022 12:44 PM


  • Autonomy
  • Online experiments
  • Procedural preferences
  • Self-employed

Document Id

  • 4384f848-5823-454c-ad9a-215a9373b286