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Job Assignments under Moral Hazard: The Peter Principle Revisited

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  • Alexander K. Koch
  • Julia Nafziger

Abstract

The Peter Principle captures two stylized facts about hierarchies: first, promotions often place employees into jobs for which they are less well suited than for that previously held. Second, demotions are extremely rare. Why do organizations not correct ‘wrong’ promotion decision? This paper shows in a complete contracting setting that a simple trade-off between incentive provision and efficient job assignment may make it optimal to promote some employees to a job at which they produce less than they would at the previous level.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1530-9134.2012.00347.x
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Economics & Management Strategy.

Volume (Year): 21 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 1029-1059

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jemstr:v:21:y:2012:i:4:p:1029-1059

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References

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  1. Fairburn, J.A. & Malcomson, J.M., 1995. "Performance, Promotion, and the Peter Principle," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 304.95, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  2. Emmanuelle Auriol & Régis Renault, 2008. "Status and incentives," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(1), pages 305-326.
  3. Baker, George & Gibbs, Michael & Holmstrom, Bengt, 1994. "The Internal Economics of the Firm: Evidence from Personnel Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 881-919, November.
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  8. Gibbons, Robert & Waldman, Michael, 1999. "Careers in organizations: Theory and evidence," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 36, pages 2373-2437 Elsevier.
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  25. O'Flaherty, B. & Siow, A., 1989. "On The Job Screening, Up Or Out Rules, And Firm Growth," Discussion Papers 1989_02, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Anja Schöttner & Veikko Thiele, 2007. "Promotion Tournaments and Individual Performance Pay," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2007-045, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  2. David Dickinson & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2007. "The Peter Principle: An Experiment," Working Papers 0728, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
  3. Julia Nafziger, 2008. "Job Assignments, Intrinsic Motivation and Explicit Incentives," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse5_2008, University of Bonn, Germany.
  4. Pawel Sobkowicz, 2010. "Dilbert-Peter Model of Organization Effectiveness: Computer Simulations," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 13(4), pages 4.

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