Incentive-Enhancing Preferences: Personality, Behavior, and Earnings
AbstractSuppose there is a principal-agent relationship between employer and employee in which effort is not contractible, but is elicited through employer incentive mechanisms. We term preferences that allow the employer to elicit effort at lower cost incentive enhancing. We analyze how such preferences affect earnings, and then provide evidence that one of the relevant behavioral traits, efficacy, as well as other psychological aspects of individuals, are signifiant influences on earnings. We conclude that measures of cognitive performance are not sufficient indicators of the effectiveness of schools in promoting student labor market success, incentive enhancing preferences are irreducibly heterogeneous, incentive enhancing preferences help explain the persistence of poverty over generations within families and, unlike cognitive skills, incentive-enhancing traits need not be welfare increasing for their bearers.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.
Volume (Year): 91 (2001)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Other versions of this item:
- Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis & Melissa Osborne, 2001. "Incentive-Enhancing Preferences: Personality, Behavior and Earnings," Working Papers 01-01-004, Santa Fe Institute.
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
- M54 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Management
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Heckman, James J., 2000.
"Policies to foster human capital,"
Research in Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 3-56, March.
- James J. Heckman, 1999. "Policies to Foster Human Capital," NBER Working Papers 7288, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- James Heckman, 2000. "Policies to Foster Human Capital," Working Papers 0028, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
- James J. Heckman, 2000. "Policies to Foster Human Capital," JCPR Working Papers 154, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
- Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis & Melissa Osborne, 2000. "The Determinants of Earnings: Skills, Preferences, and Schooling," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2000-07, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- Capitalism. princesses and alienation
by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2011-05-09 14:09:35
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jane Voros) or (Michael P. Albert).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.