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Promotions, Demotions, Halo Effects, and the Earnings Dynamics of American Executives

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  • Christian Belzil
  • Michael Bognanno

Abstract

This paper explores the determinants of earnings growth in corporate hierarchies using static and dynamic panel data techniques. The novelty derives from the distinction between base pay and bonus, the asymmetric effects of promotion and demotion, and the consideration of dynamic effects. We find that the convexity of pay structures is robust to the allowance for unobserved individual heterogeneity. Demotion has a stronger effect on compensation growth in absolute value than promotion. Dynamic models indicate that the causal effect of past promotion is positive on the growth in base and total pay but has no significant effect on bonus growth. (c) 2008 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved..

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 26 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (04)
Pages: 287-310

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:26:y:2008:i:2:p:287-310

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  1. Gibbs, Michael, 1995. "Incentive compensation in a corporate hierarchy," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 247-277, April.
  2. Sherwin Rosen, 1982. "Authority, Control, and the Distribution of Earnings," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 311-323, Autumn.
  3. Christian Belzil & Michael Bognanno, 2004. "The Promotion Dynamics of American Executives," CIRANO Working Papers 2004s-05, CIRANO.
  4. Seltzer, Andrew & Merrett, David T, 2000. "Personnel Policies at the Union Bank of Australia: Evidence from the 1888-1900 Entry Cohorts," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(4), pages 573-613, October.
  5. Edward P. Lazear, 1999. "Personnel Economics: Past Lessons and Future Directions," NBER Working Papers 6957, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Dohmen, Thomas & Kriechel, Ben & Pfann, Gerard A., 2003. "Monkey Bars and Ladders: The Importance of Lateral and Vertical Job Mobility in Internal Labor Market Careers," IZA Discussion Papers 867, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. 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.
  8. John Haltiwanger & Marilyn E. Manser & Robert Topel, 1998. "Labor Statistics Measurement Issues," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number halt98-1, October.
  9. Bognanno, Michael L, 2001. "Corporate Tournaments," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 290-315, April.
  10. Robert Gibbons, 1997. "Incentives and Careers in Organizations," NBER Working Papers 5705, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Canice Prendergast, 1998. "What Happens within Firms? A Survey of Empirical Evidence on Compensation Policies," NBER Chapters, in: Labor Statistics Measurement Issues, pages 329-356 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. McCue, Kristin, 1996. "Promotions and Wage Growth," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(2), pages 175-209, April.
  14. 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.
  15. Robert Gibbons & Michael Waldman, 1999. "A Theory Of Wage And Promotion Dynamics Inside Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1321-1358, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Altmann, Steffen & Falk, Armin & Wibral, Matthias, 2008. "Promotions and Incentives: The Case of Multi-Stage Elimination Tournaments," IZA Discussion Papers 3835, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Frederiksen, Anders & Halliday, Timothy J. & Koch, Alexander K., 2010. "Within- and Cross-Firm Mobility and Earnings Growth," IZA Discussion Papers 5163, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Pema, Elda & Mehay, Stephen, 2010. "The role of job assignment and human capital endowments in explaining gender differences in job performance and promotion," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 998-1009, December.
  4. Frederiksen, Anders & Halliday, Timothy J. & Koch, Alexander K., 2010. "What Do We Work For? An Anatomy of Pre- and Post-Tax Earnings Growth," IZA Discussion Papers 5298, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Susana Cabrera & Enrique Fatás & Juan Lacomba & Tibor Neugebauer, 2013. "Splitting leagues: promotion and demotion in contribution-based regrouping experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 426-441, September.

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