The experimental design aims at identifying the workers’ willingness to pay for two types of job attributes. First, we consider attributes that are associated with high work pressure, measured by the extent to which a job is characterized by frequent deadlines, and the extent of multitasking. Second, we plan to analyze workers' willingness to pay for job attributes other than pressure. Here, we focus on workers' willingness to pay to decrease commuting time and the option to telecommute.
The job attributes associated with work pressure are defined by statements whether the respective attribute would apply "frequently" or just "occasionally." Commuting time to the workplace is presented in minutes and varies between 15, 30, 45, and 60 minutes. Options to telecommute in a given job are given as "none", "2 days per week", or 5 days per week". We complement the job profiles by three further non-wage attributes: control over schedule, number of paid days off, and hours.
To each survey respondent, we administer a series of ten stated-preference experiments. In each of these experiments, survey respondents are asked to select between two jobs, each defined by a partially varying set of non-wage job characteristics, hours, and monetary compensation. For each respondent, we use a description of the respondent's current job as a baseline profile. To facilitate the derivation of the baseline profile, before participating in the experiments, each respondent answers a short survey about current job characteristics. Each survey item corresponds to one of the non-wage job attributes in the experiment. Based on the respondents' baseline job, we create hypothetical Job A and Job B by randomly selecting two non-wage attributes (including hours) to vary across the two jobs. Within each of the two randomly selected attributes, we choose corresponding attribute values at random sequentially for both jobs without replacement. This makes sure that Job A and Job B actually vary in the selected attributes. The variation in the variable referring to control over schedule is binary (yes or no).
In addition to the two randomly selected non-wage attributes to vary in a given experiment, the wage always varies between Job A and Job B. We anchor the randomly determined wage using the respondent's actual hourly wage w. The anchoring is achieved by setting the wages of Job A and Job B as c_A*w and c_B*w, respectively, where c_A and c_B follow a N(1, 0.01) distribution. We truncate both weights to lie between 0.75 and 1.25. The wage offer is converted back to the units in which the respondent originally reported their earnings (hourly, monthly, or yearly) in the choice experiment.
To elicit the subjects' self-reported stress-related health, we let the subjects (after completing the stated-choice experiment) answer a series of four health questions. These questions read as follows:
"In your current job, do you feel that you are mostly up to the task in terms of quantity of work, or do you feel under- or overwhelmed?" Response options: Mostly up to the task; mostly overwhelmed; mostly underwhelmed; don't know.
"During the past 12 months, did you frequently experience any of the following on work days?" Response options: Sleep problems; general feelings of tiredness, fatigue or weariness; feeling nervous or irritable; feeling physically exhausted; feeling mentally exhausted; none of these; don't know.
"Does it frequently happen at work that ..." Response options: Work is emotionally taxing; reaching personal limit often; hard to relax after work; none of these; don't know.
"During the past two years, or since you started on your current job: Have stress and work pressure increased, did they stay constant, or have they decreased?" Response options: Increased; stayed constant; decreased; don't know.
From these items, we construct indicators for subjects who suffer from self-reported health problems associated with work pressure. For details, see the pre-analysis plan.