Vilfredo Pareto Research Seminar
Paola Profeta

Smart-working: Work Flexibility Without Constraints

Paola Profeta, Full Professor of Public Economics at Bocconi University
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Maison de la paix (Geneva), Petal 1 Room S4 (hybrid)

The Vilfredo Pareto Research Seminar is the Economics department's weekly seminar, featuring external speakers in all areas of economics.

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As part of the Vilfredo Pareto Research Seminar series, the International Economics Department at the Graduate Institute is pleased to invite you to a public talk given by Paola Profeta, Full Professor of Public Economics at Bocconi University.

She will present her work and paper, joint with Marta Angelici, titled Smart-working: Work Flexibility Without Constraints.

Abstract: Does removing the constraints of time and place of work increase the utility of workers and firms? We design a randomized experiment on a sample of workers in a large Italian company: workers are randomly divided into a treated group that engages in flexible space and time job (which we call “smart-working”) one day per week for 9 months and a control group that continues to work traditionally. By comparing workers in the treated and control group, we find causal evidence that the flexibility of smart-working increases the productivity of workers. We estimate a decrease of days of leave by 0.2 standard deviation on average per month and a significant increase of monthly productivity equal to 0.22 standard deviations in specific months. We also find a sizeable improvement of well-being (satisfaction with life in general increases by 0.29 standard deviations) and work-life balance and we observe that also men increase the time dedicated to household and care activities.


About the speaker

Paola Profeta is a Full Professor of Public Economics at Bocconi University and Director of AXA Research Lab on Gender Equality. She is also President of the European Public Choice Society. Her work is on public economics and political economics (of taxation and pensions) and on gender economics, women in politics and policies to promote gender equality and female leadership.