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The Allocation of Merit Pay in Academia: A Case Study

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  • Finn Christensen

    ()
    (Towson University)

  • James Manley

    ()
    (Towson University)

  • Louise Laurence

    ()
    (Towson University)

Abstract

This paper investigates whether the widespread awarding of faculty merit pay at a large public university accurately reflects productivity. We show that pairwise voting on a quality standard by a committee can in theory be consistent with observed allocation patterns. However, the data indicate only nominal adherence to a quality standard. Departments with more severe compression issues are more likely to award merit pay as a countermeasure and some departments appear to be motivated by nonpecuniary incentives. Much of the variance in merit pay allocation remains unexplained. These results suggest reform is needed to improve transparency in the merit system.

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File URL: http://www.accessecon.com/Pubs/EB/2011/Volume31/EB-11-V31-I2-P144.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by AccessEcon in its journal Economics Bulletin.

Volume (Year): 31 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 1548-1562

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Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-11-00028

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Related research

Keywords: merit; faculty compensation;

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References

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  1. Gerald Marschke & Pascal Courty, 2002. "An Empirical Investigation of Gaming Responses to Explicit Performance Incentives," Discussion Papers 02-06, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
  2. Thomas S. Dee & Benjamin J. Keys, 2004. "Does merit pay reward good teachers? Evidence from a randomized experiment," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(3), pages 471-488.
  3. Belfield, Clive R. & Heywood, John S., 2008. "Performance pay for teachers: Determinants and consequences," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 243-252, June.
  4. Gerald Marschke & Pascal Courty, 2002. "Dynamics of Performance Measurement Systems," Discussion Papers 02-09, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
  5. Stephen French & Katsuyuki Kubo & David Marsden, 2001. "Does Performance Pay De-Motivate, and Does It Matter?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0503, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. Simon Burgess & Marisa Ratto, 2003. "The Role of Incentives in the Public Sector: Issues and Evidence," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(2), pages 285-300, Summer.
  7. Michael J. Podgursky & Matthew G. Springer, 2007. "Teacher performance pay: A review," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(4), pages 909-950.
  8. Antony Dnes & Nuno Garoupa, 2005. "Academic Tenure, Posttenure Effort, and Contractual Damages," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(4), pages 831-839, October.
  9. Victor Lavy, 2002. "Evaluating the Effect of Teachers' Group Performance Incentives on Pupil Achievement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1286-1317, December.
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