Referral and Job Performance: Evidence from the Ghana Colonial Army
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One key characteristic for army work is physical strength, a trait that is correlated with height. Other relevant characteristics include loyalty and discipline. Height is observable at recruitment; loyalty and discipline are only revealed later. If referees bring in better soldiers, new recruits referred by servicemen should over time be revealed to have better unobserved characteristics. The Ghanaian colonial army offers a convenient vantage point into this issue. Various recruitment methods were used. First, recruiting parties toured an area encouraging men to enlist. Second, chiefs who, under the system of indirect rule acted as agents of the colonial administration, were asked to provide recruits using financial inducement and coercion.