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Setting Incentives: Temporary Performance Premiums versus Promotion Tournaments

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  • Volker Meier

Abstract

Two alternative relative compensation schemes are compared with respect to the output that can be generated at a given sum of salaries. While the promotion regime guarantees that any salary increase is permanent, the premium system allows a reduction in the income of an agent to the base salary after one period. It is shown that the optimum promotion tournament system induces a higher total output than the optimum premium system. This result is obtained because a promotion regime allows a distortion in a contest in favor of winners of previous contests. Copyright 2004 CEIS, Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by CEIS in its journal LABOUR: Review of Labour Economics and Industrial Relations.

Volume (Year): 18 (2004)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 661-674

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Handle: RePEc:bla:labour:v:18:y:2004:i:4:p:661-674

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  1. Sherwin Rosen, 1985. "Prizes and Incentives in Elimination Tournaments," NBER Working Papers 1668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-64, October.
  3. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
  4. Meyer, Margaret A, 1992. "Biased Contests and Moral Hazard: Implications for Career Profiles," CEPR Discussion Papers 637, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. 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.
  6. Meyer, Margaret A, 1991. "Learning from Coarse Information: Biased Contests and Career Profiles," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(1), pages 15-41, January.
  7. Malcomson, James M, 1984. "Work Incentives, Hierarchy, and Internal Labor Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(3), pages 486-507, June.
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