Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Aligning Ambition and Incentives

Contents:

Author Info

  • Alexander K. Koch
  • Eloïc Peyrache

Abstract

Labor turnover creates longer term career concerns incentives that motivate employees in addition to the short-term monetary incentives provided by the current employer. We analyze how these incentives interact and derive implications for the design of incentive contracts and organizational choice. The main insights stem from a trade-off between "good monetary incentives" and "good reputational incentives." We show that the principal optimally designs contracts to create ambiguity about agents' abilities. This may make it optimal to contract on relative performance measures, even though the extant rationales for such schemes are absent. Linking the structure of contracts to organizational design, we show that it can be optimal for the principal to adopt an opaque organization where performance is not verifiable, despite the constraints that this imposes on contracts. (JEL D82, J33, L14) The Author 2009. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Yale University. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org, Oxford University Press.

Download Info

If 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.
File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/jleo/ewp034
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

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 Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal The Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization.

Volume (Year): 27 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 655-688

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:27:y::i:3:p:655-688

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, UK
Fax: 01865 267 985
Email:
Web page: http://jleo.oupjournals.org/

Order Information:
Web: http://www.oup.co.uk/journals

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
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.:
as in new window
  1. Englmaier, Florian & Wambach, Achim, 2010. "Optimal incentive contracts under inequity aversion," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 312-328, July.
  2. Waldman, Michael, 1984. "Worker Allocation, Hierarchies and the Wage Distribution," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(1), pages 95-109, January.
  3. Alexander K. Koch & Eloic Peyrache, 2005. "Aligning Ambition and Incentives," Royal Holloway, University of London: Discussion Papers in Economics 05/03, Department of Economics, Royal Holloway University of London, revised Mar 2005.
  4. Sherwin Rosen, 1982. "Authority, Control, and the Distribution of Earnings," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 311-323, Autumn.
  5. Okuno-Fujiwara, Masahiro & Postlewaite, Andrew & Suzumura, Kotaro, 1990. "Strategic Information Revelation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(1), pages 25-47, January.
  6. Pedro Rey-Biel, 2008. "Inequity Aversion and Team Incentives," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(2), pages 297-320, 06.
  7. Robert H. Topel & Michael P. Ward, 1988. "Job Mobility and the Careers of Young Men," NBER Working Papers 2649, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Atif Mian, 2008. "Incentives in Markets, Firms, and Governments," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(2), pages 273-306, October.
  9. Koch, Alexander K. & Peyrache, Eloic, 2004. "Mixed Up? That's Good for Motivation," IZA Discussion Papers 1331, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. 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.
  11. Michael Gibbs & Wallace Hendricks, 2004. "Do formal salary systems really matter?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 58(1), pages 71-93, October.
  12. Yeon-Koo Che & Seung-Weon Yoo, 2001. "Optimal Incentives for Teams," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 525-541, June.
  13. Paul R. Milgrom, 1981. "Good News and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(2), pages 380-391, Autumn.
  14. Greenwald, Bruce C, 1986. "Adverse Selection in the Labour Market," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(3), pages 325-47, July.
  15. Rebitzer, James B & Taylor, Lowell J, 1995. "Efficiency Wages and Employment Rents: The Employer-Size Wage Effect in the Job Market for Lawyers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(4), pages 678-708, October.
  16. Spurr, Stephen J, 1987. "How the Market Solves an Assignment Problem: The Matching of Lawyers with Legal Claims," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(4), pages 502-32, October.
  17. Bengt Holmstrom, 1997. "Moral Hazard and Observability," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1205, David K. Levine.
  18. Jonathan Levin & Steven Tadelis, 2005. "Profit Sharing and the Role of Professional Partnerships," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(1), pages 131-171, January.
  19. Arijit Mukherjee, 2008. "Career Concerns, Matching, And Optimal Disclosure Policy," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(4), pages 1211-1250, November.
  20. Mookherjee, Dilip, 1984. "Optimal Incentive Schemes with Many Agents," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 433-46, July.
  21. Dustmann, Christian & Pereira, Sonia C., 2005. "Wage Growth and Job Mobility in the U.K. and Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 1586, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  22. Koessler, Frederic, 2004. "Strategic knowledge sharing in Bayesian games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 292-320, August.
  23. Bernhardt, Dan, 1995. "Strategic Promotion and Compensation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(2), pages 315-39, April.
  24. Green, Jerry R & Stokey, Nancy L, 1983. "A Comparison of Tournaments and Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(3), pages 349-64, June.
  25. Hideshi Itoh, 2004. "Moral Hazard and Other-Regarding Preferences," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 55(1), pages 18-45.
  26. Alessandro Pavan, 2004. "On the Optimality of Privacy in Sequential Contracting," Theory workshop papers 658612000000000067, UCLA Department of Economics.
  27. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-90, October.
  28. Heski Bar-Isaac, 2007. "Something to prove: reputation in teams," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(2), pages 495-511, 06.
  29. Michael Waldman, 1989. "Up-or-Out Contracts: A Signaling Perspective," UCLA Economics Working Papers 556, UCLA Department of Economics.
  30. Koch, Alexander K. & Peyrache, Eloïc, 2008. "Moral hazard contracts: Does one size fit all?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 100(3), pages 399-401, September.
  31. Murphy, K.J. & Gibbons, R., 1990. "Optimal Incentive Contracts in the Presence of Career Concerns : Theory and Evidence," Papers 90-09, Rochester, Business - Managerial Economics Research Center.
  32. Bruce Fallick & Charles A. Fleischman, 2004. "Employer-to-employer flows in the U.S. labor market: the complete picture of gross worker flows," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-34, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  33. Jaime Ortega, 2003. "Power in the Firm and Managerial Career Concerns," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(1), pages 1-29, 03.
  34. Holmstrom, Bengt R. & Tirole, Jean, 1989. "The theory of the firm," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 61-133 Elsevier.
  35. Fama, Eugene F, 1980. "Agency Problems and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(2), pages 288-307, April.
  36. Ricart i Costa, Joan E, 1988. "Managerial Task Assignment and Promotions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 449-66, March.
  37. MacDonald, Glenn M & Markusen, James R, 1985. "A Rehabilitation of Absolute Advantage," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(2), pages 277-97, April.
  38. 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.
  39. Dewatripont, Mathias & Jewitt, Ian & Tirole, Jean, 1999. "The Economics of Career Concerns, Part I: Comparing Information Structures," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 183-98, January.
  40. H.S. Shin, 1994. "News Management and the Value of Firms," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(1), pages 58-71, Spring.
  41. Koch, Alexander K. & Peyrache, Eloic, 2005. "Tournaments, Individualized Contracts and Career Concerns," IZA Discussion Papers 1841, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  42. McLaughlin, Kenneth J, 1991. "A Theory of Quits and Layoffs with Efficient Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 1-29, February.
  43. Robert Gibbons & Lawrence Katz, 1989. "Layoffs and Lemons," NBER Working Papers 2968, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  44. 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.
  45. Rubinstein, Yona & Weiss, Yoram, 2006. "Post Schooling Wage Growth: Investment, Search and Learning," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  46. Itoh, Hideshi, 1991. "Incentives to Help in Multi-agent Situations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 611-36, May.
  47. Borland, Jeff, 1992. " Career Concerns: Incentives and Endogenous Learning in Labour Markets," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(3), pages 251-70.
  48. Edward P. Lazear, 1984. "Raids and Offermatching," NBER Working Papers 1419, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  49. Bengt Holmstrom, 1982. "Moral Hazard in Teams," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 324-340, Autumn.
  50. Meyer, Margaret A & Vickers, John, 1997. "Performance Comparisons and Dynamic Incentives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(3), pages 547-81, June.
  51. Madhav V. Rajan & Stefan Reichelstein, 2006. "Subjective Performance Indicators and Discretionary Bonus Pools," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 585-618, 06.
  52. Bentley MacLeod, 2001. "Optimal Contracting with Subjective Evaluation," Theory workshop papers 357966000000000036, UCLA Department of Economics.
  53. Grossman, Sanford J, 1981. "The Informational Role of Warranties and Private Disclosure about Product Quality," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 461-83, December.
  54. 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.
  55. Wang, Ruqu, 1997. "Competition, Wage Commitments, and Application Fees," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 124-42, January.
  56. Ma, Ching-To, 1988. "Unique Implementation of Incentive Contracts with Many Agents," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 555-72, October.
  57. Zabojnik, Jan & Bernhardt, Dan, 2001. "Corporate Tournaments, Human Capital Acquisition, and the Firm Size-Wage Relation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(3), pages 693-716, July.
  58. Jeon, Seonghoon, 1996. "Moral hazard and reputational concerns in teams: Implications for organizational choice," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 297-315, May.
  59. Burguet, Roberto & Caminal, Ramon & Matutes, Carmen, 2002. "Golden cages for showy birds: Optimal switching costs in labor contracts," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(7), pages 1153-1185, July.
  60. Clare Leaver & Gian Luigi Albano, 2004. "Transparency, Recruitment and Retention in the Public Sector," Economics Series Working Papers 219, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Koch, Alexander K. & Peyrache, Eloic, 2005. "Aligning Ambition and Incentives," IZA Discussion Papers 1527, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Imhof, Lorens & Kräkel, Matthias, 2014. "Bonus pools and the informativeness principle," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 180-191.
  3. Julia Nafziger & Heiner Schumacher, 2013. "Information Management and Incentives," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 140-163, 03.
  4. Stephen Eliot Hansen, 2010. "The Benefits of Limited Feedback in Organizations," Working Papers 490, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:27:y::i:3:p:655-688. See general 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: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum).

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.