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Threat of Dismissal: Incentive or Sorting?

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  • Illoong Kwon

    (University of Michigan)

Abstract

Many people are fired from their jobs for poor performance. However, it is difficult to distinguish whether they are fired because they are not well suited for their job (sorting explanation) or because the firms are trying to provide incentives for effort (incentive explanation). This article develops a dynamic incentive model of dismissal and proposes a methodology to distinguish between these two explanations. The methodology is based on learning-by-doing and changes in the slope of dismissal probability with respect to tenure. Using personnel data from a large U.S. company, this study finds significant evidence for the incentive explanation.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Labor Economics.

Volume (Year): 23 (2005)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 797-838

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:23:y:2005:i:4:p:797-838

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Cited by:
  1. Pouliakas, Konstantinos & Theodossiou, Ioannis, 2012. "Rewarding carrots and crippling sticks: Eliciting employee preferences for the optimal incentive design," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 1247-1265.
  2. Oriana Bandiera & Luigi Guiso & Andrea Prat & Raffaella Sadun, 2009. "Matching Firms, Managers and Incentives," Economics Working Papers ECO2009/14, European University Institute.
  3. Pouliakas, Konstantinos & Theodossiou, Ioannis, 2009. "Rewarding Carrots & Crippling Sticks: Eliciting Employee Preferences for the Optimal Incentive Mix in Europe," MPRA Paper 14167, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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