Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Bonus Culture: Competitive Pay, Screening, and Multitasking

Contents:

Author Info

  • Bénabou, Roland
  • Tirole, Jean

Abstract

This paper analyzes the impact of labor market competition and skill-biased technical change on the structure of compensation. The model combines multitasking and screening, embedded into a Hotelling-like framework. Competition for the most talented workers leads to an escalating reliance on performance pay and other high-powered incentives, thereby shifting effort away from less easily contractible tasks such as long-term investments, risk management and within-firm cooperation. Under perfect competition, the resulting efficiency loss can be larger than that imposed by a single firm or principal, who distorts incentives downward in order to extract rents. More generally, as declining market frictions lead employers to compete more aggressively, the monopsonistic underincentivization of low-skill agents first decreases, then gives way to a growing overincentivization of high-skill ones. Aggregate welfare is thus hill-shaped with respect to the competitiveness of the labor market, while inequality tends to rise monotonically. Bonus caps and income taxes can help restore balance in agents' incentives and behavior, but may generate their own set of distortions.

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://www.cepr.org/pubs/dps/DP9419.asp
Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org

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

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9419.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Apr 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9419

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820

Order Information:
Email:

Related research

Keywords: adverse selection; bonuses; competition; contracts; executive compensation; Hotelling; incentives; inequality; moral hazard; performance pay; screening; work ethic;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

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. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1986. "Using Cost Observation to Regulate Firms," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 614-41, June.
  2. Bandiera, Oriana & Barankay, Iwan & Rasul, Imran, 2006. "Incentives for Managers and Inequality Among Workers: Evidence from a Firm Level Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 5649, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Edward P. Lazear, 2000. "Performance Pay and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1346-1361, December.
  4. Xavier Gabaix & Augustin Landier, 2006. "Why Has CEO Pay Increased So Much?," 2006 Meeting Papers 518, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Carola Frydman & Raven E. Saks, 2008. "Executive Compensation: A New View from a Long-Term Perspective, 1936-2005," NBER Working Papers 14145, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Baker, George P, 1992. "Incentive Contracts and Performance Measurement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 598-614, June.
  7. Michael Kosfeld & Ferdinand A. von Siemens, 2011. "Competition, cooperation, and corporate culture," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 42(1), pages 23-43, 03.
  8. Brekke, Kjell Arne & Nyborg, Karine, 2008. "Attracting responsible employees: Green production as labor market screening," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 509-526, December.
  9. Prendergast, Canice, 1992. "Career development and specific human capital collection," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 207-227, September.
  10. Veronica Guerrieri & Robert Shimer & Randall Wright, 2010. "Adverse Selection in Competitive Search Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(6), pages 1823-1862, November.
  11. Rochet, Jean-Charles & Stole, Lars A, 2002. "Nonlinear Pricing with Random Participation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(1), pages 277-311, January.
  12. Philippon, Thomas & Reshef, Ariell, 2009. "Wages and Human Capital in the U.S. Financial Industry: 1909-2006," CEPR Discussion Papers 7282, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Fabbri, Francesca & Marin, Dalia, 2012. "What Explains the Rise in CEO Pay in Germany? A Panel Data Analysis for 1977-2009," CEPR Discussion Papers 8879, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2004. "Fairness and incentives in a multi-task principal-agent model," Munich Reprints in Economics 20657, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  15. Nick Netzer & Florian Scheuer, 2008. "Competitive Markets without Commitment," SOI - Working Papers 0814, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  16. Viral V. Acharya & Marco Pagano & Paolo Volpin, 2013. "Seeking Alpha: Excess Risk Taking and Competition for Managerial Talent," NBER Working Papers 18891, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Moen, Espen R. & Rosén, Åsa, 2001. "Performance pay and adverse selection," Working Paper Series 2/2001, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
  18. Stewart, Jay, 1994. "The Welfare Implications of Moral Hazard and Adverse Selection in Competitive Insurance Markets," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(2), pages 193-208, April.
  19. Canice Prendergast, 2007. "The Motivation and Bias of Bureaucrats," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 180-196, March.
  20. J. Miguel Villas-Boas & Udo Schmidt-Mohr, 1999. "Oligopoly with Asymmetric Information: Differentiation in Credit Markets," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(3), pages 375-396, Autumn.
  21. Bruce Shearer, 2004. "Piece Rates, Fixed Wages and Incentives: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(2), pages 513-534, 04.
  22. John Thanassoulis, 2013. "Industry Structure, Executive Pay, and Short-Termism," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 59(2), pages 402-419, June.
  23. Chassagnon, A. & Chiappori, P.A., 1994. "Insurance Under Moral Hazard and Adverse Selection: The Case of Pure Competition," Papers 28, Laval - Laboratoire Econometrie.
  24. Bruce Shearer, 2004. "Piece Rates, Fixed Wages and Incentives: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(2), pages 513-534.
  25. Benjamin E. Hermalin, 2005. "Trends in Corporate Governance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(5), pages 2351-2384, October.
  26. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2001. "Are Ceos Rewarded For Luck? The Ones Without Principals Are," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 901-932, August.
  27. Bénabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2011. "Laws and Norms," CEPR Discussion Papers 8663, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  28. Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "The Economics of Superstars," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 845-58, December.
  29. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 1992. "The Principal-Agent Relationship with an Informed Principal, II: Common Values," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(1), pages 1-42, January.
  30. George Baker & Robert Gibbons & Kevin J. Murphy, 1993. "Subjective Performance Measures in Optimal Incentive Contracts," NBER Working Papers 4480, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  31. Abhijit Ramalingam & Michael T. Rauh, 2010. "The Firm as a Socialization Device," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(12), pages 2191-2206, December.
  32. Armstrong, Mark & Vickers, John, 2001. "Competitive Price Discrimination," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(4), pages 579-605, Winter.
  33. Schmidt, Klaus M, 1997. "Managerial Incentives and Product Market Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(2), pages 191-213, April.
  34. Itoh, Hideshi, 1991. "Incentives to Help in Multi-agent Situations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 611-36, May.
  35. Besley, Timothy J. & Ghatak, Maitreesh, 2011. "Taxation and Regulation of Bonus Pay," CEPR Discussion Papers 8532, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  36. Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2006. "Sorting with Motivated Agents: Implications for School Competition and Teacher Incentives," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 404-414, 04-05.
  37. Baumol, William J, 1990. "Entrepreneurship: Productive, Unproductive, and Destructive," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 893-921, October.
  38. Tymula, Agnieszka, 2013. "Competitive Screening of a Heterogeneous Labor Force and Corporate Teamwork Attitude," Working Papers 2013-18, University of Sydney, School of Economics.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Inequality's effects
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2013-01-22 14:21:04
  2. Socialism, institutions & human nature
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2013-01-28 14:39:57
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Tymula, Agnieszka, 2013. "Competitive Screening of a Heterogeneous Labor Force and Corporate Teamwork Attitude," Working Papers 2013-18, University of Sydney, School of Economics.
  2. Acharya, Viral V & Pagano, Marco & Volpin, Paolo, 2012. "Seeking Alpha: Excess Risk Taking and Competition for Managerial Talent," CEPR Discussion Papers 8905, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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:cpr:ceprdp:9419. 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: ().

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.