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Personal profile

Research interests

Since July 2013, I am an Assistant Professor in the Work & Organizations Group at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota– Twin Cities. I received my PhD from the Institute for Work and Employment Research at the MIT Sloan School of Management, where my dissertation advisors were David Autor (MIT Economics) and Paul Osterman (MIT Sloan), and a bachelor's degree from the ILR School at Cornell University. I am also on the Graduate Faculty of Minnesota's Department of Applied Economics and the Minnesota Population Center (MPC), and am a member of the Social Media and Business Analytics Collaborative (SOBACO). My research is in empirical personnel and labor economics. Specifically, I analyze “big data” for personnel management, using the analytical tools of microeconomics to make causal connections between firms' practices and outcomes. My research uses data from a cloud-based service for managing salespeople to analyze compensation, job performance, training, organizational structure, and managerial decision-making. In short, I'm trying to bring the tools of microeconomics to predictive analytics, and bring personnel data collected over "the cloud" to microeconomics. Some sample questions include: - Promotions. What sales characteristics do firms use in promotion decisions? What factors predict managerial success? Do promotion criteria align with predictors of managerial success? - Tying Sales Comp to Market Conditions. When do organizations use bonuses to insure salespeople against risk when weak performance was due to factors outside their control? - Pay Mix. What industries and sales roles have a pay mix that favors incentives? Base pay? Why do these patterns exist? - Gaming. How can incentive plans distort managerial incentives over staffing and incentives? My teaching has includes or has included compensation, statistics, management, business economics, and negotiations for undergraduates, MBAs, executives, and doctoral students.

Research interests

  • personnel economics
  • labor economics
  • organizational economics
  • compensation
  • human resources

Fingerprint The Fingerprint is created by mining the titles and abstracts of the person's research outputs and projects/funding awards to create an index of weighted terms from discipline-specific thesauri.

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Research Output 2010 2019

Promotions and the peter principle

Benson, A., Li, D. & Shue, K., Nov 1 2019, In : Quarterly Journal of Economics. 134, 4, p. 2085-2134 50 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Sales performance

Are Bonus Pools Driven by Their Incentive Effects? Evidence from Fluctuations in Gainsharing Incentives

Benson, A. & Sajjadiani, S., May 1 2018, In : ILR Review. 71, 3, p. 567-599 33 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Incentive effect
2 Citations (Scopus)

A Theory of Dual Job Search and Sex-Based Occupational Clustering

Benson, A., Jul 1 2015, In : Industrial Relations. 54, 3, p. 367-400 34 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Job search
Occupational segregation
4 Citations (Scopus)

Do agents game their agents’ behavior? Evidence from sales managers

Benson, A., Oct 1 2015, In : Journal of Labor Economics. 33, 4, p. 863-890 28 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sales manager
Micro data
14 Citations (Scopus)

Rethinking the Two-Body Problem: The Segregation of Women Into Geographically Dispersed Occupations

Benson, A., Oct 23 2014, In : Demography. 51, 5, p. 1619-1639 21 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle