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Wage Levels and Method of Pay

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  • Charles Brown

Abstract

The traditional literature on method of pay distinguishes workers who are paid time rates from those who are paid piece rates. The theory predicts that the piece-rate workers will earn more, and empirically they do. A simple generalization is to divide time-rate workers into two groups: those whose wage depends on their supervisor's ratings and those whose wage does not. Theory predicts that the workers whose pay is linked to supervisor ratings will earn more than the other time-rate workers. Wage data for workers in over 3,000 manufacturing establishments show they do not, and several simple explanations fail to resolve this empirical puzzle.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by The RAND Corporation in its journal RAND Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 23 (1992)
Issue (Month): 3 (Autumn)
Pages: 366-375

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Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:23:y:1992:i:autumn:p:366-375

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References

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  1. Bengt Holmstrom, 1997. "Moral Hazard and Observability," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1205, David K. Levine.
  2. Dennis J. Aigner & Glen G. Cain, 1977. "Statistical theories of discrimination in labor markets," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(2), pages 175-187, January.
  3. O'Keeffe, Mary & Viscusi, W Kip & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1984. "Economic Contests: Comparative Reward Schemes," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(1), pages 27-56, January.
  4. Green, Jerry & Stokey, Nancy, 1983. "A Comparison of Tournaments and Contracts," Scholarly Articles 3203644, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Gibbons, R. & Murphy, K.J., 1989. "Relative Performance Evaluation For Chief Executive Officers," Working papers 532, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Charles Brown, 1990. "Firms' Choice of Method of Pay," NBER Working Papers 3065, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Edward P. Lazear & Sherwin Rosen, 1979. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," NBER Working Papers 0401, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Jeremy I. Bulow & Lawrence H. Summers, 1985. "A Theory of Dual Labor Markets with Application to Industrial Policy, Discrimination and Keynesian Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 1666, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Lundberg, Shelly J & Startz, Richard, 1983. "Private Discrimination and Social Intervention in Competitive Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(3), pages 340-47, June.
  10. Jonathan S. Leonard, 1990. "Executive pay and firm performance," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(3), pages 13-29, February.
  11. Garen, John E, 1985. "Worker Heterogeneity, Job Screening, and Firm Size," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(4), pages 715-39, August.
  12. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1979. "Optimal incentive contracts with imperfect information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 231-259, April.
  13. John M. Abowd, 1989. "Does Performance-Based Managerial Compensation Affect Subsequent Corporate Performance?," NBER Working Papers 3149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Lazear, Edward P, 1986. "Salaries and Piece Rates," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(3), pages 405-31, July.
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