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(AEW webinar) Team Players: How Social Skills Improve Team Performance

  • Date 2020-10-27 (Tue)
  • Time 08:30 AM
  • Venue Mo-Huan Auditorium
  • Presider Applied Economics Workshop organized by UTokyo, NUS, HKUST, and NTU
  • Speaker Professor David Deming
  • Background Professor Deming received his Ph.D. in Public Policy from Harvard University in 2010. He is currently a Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. He has been a co-editor of several leading Economics journals, such as American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, Journal of Human Resources. His research focuses on higher education, economic inequality, skills, technology and the future of the labor market.
  • Abstract Most jobs require teamwork. Are some people good team players? In this paper we design and test a new method for identifying individual contributions to team production. We randomly assign people to multiple teams and predict team performance based on previously assessed individual skills. Some people consistently cause their team to exceed its predicted performance. We call these individuals “team players”. Team players score significantly higher on a well-established measure of social intelligence, but do not differ across a variety of other dimensions, including IQ, personality, education and gender. Social skills – defined as a single latent factor that combines social intelligence scores with the team player effect – improve team performance about as much as IQ. We find suggestive evidence that team players increase effort among teammates.

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