Expectations, Wage Hikes, and Worker Voice

Journal Article
Published on 13 January 2022

The published version of this article is available here at The Economic Journal.


Enabling worker voice could improve worker retention and effort by providing workers the chance to improve their situation or an outlet to express discontent. We provide a test of this hypothesis via a randomised controlled trial in Indian garment factories. Just after what proved to be a disappointing wage hike, workers were chosen at random to participate in an anonymous survey in which they were asked for feedback on job conditions, supervisor performance and overall job satisfaction. Enabling voice in this manner reduced turnover and absenteeism after the hike, particularly for the most disappointed workers.


Achyuta Adhvaryu

University of Michigan

Teresa Molina

University of Hawai'i at Manoa

Anant Nyshadham

University of Michigan