The scholars studied the failure rates of 50 million cellphones produced by a major Chinese manufacturer and tracked the performance of those phones over four years of customer use. Here's an excerpt from Knowledge@Wharton documenting the findings:
- Each percentage-point increase in the weekly turnover rate for workers increased product failure by 0.74% to 0.79%.
- Failure was 10.2% more common for devices produced in the high-turnover weeks following payday, which was once a month, than for devices produced during the lowest-turnover weeks immediately before payday.
- In other weeks, the assembly lines experiencing higher turnover produced an estimated 2% to 3% more field failures on average.
- The associated costs amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars.