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Compensation Methods in a Competitive Labor Market: the Role of Asymmetric Information

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  • Felipe Balmaceda

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Abstract

In this paper we develop an asymmetric information model that provides a rationale for the existence of pay-for-performance contracts in the absence of incentive for effort and explains when and in which occupations pay-for-performance is more likely to be observed. In our model competition among firms for the best workers forces firm to link pay to performance in order to provide the best workers with a higher expected compensation. Furthermore, the model predicts among other things and contrary to the moral hazard model, that there is an equilibrium in which workers under contracts with a larger pay-for-performance sensitivity exert less effort than workers under contracts with a smaller pay-for-performance sensitivity. The paper also makes contributions to the theoretical literature on screening games. It is shown that in a competitive market and under a slightly modified timing than the one proposed by Rothschild and Stiglitz’ (1976) a unique equilibrium exits when a appropriately chosen equilibrium refinement is used and that the standard result in screening games in monopolistic settings known as no distortion at the top (see, Laffont and Tirole, 1996) does not hold in a competitive market.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile in its series Documentos de Trabajo with number 139.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:edj:ceauch:139

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  1. Gibbons, R. & Murphy, K.J., 1989. "Relative Performance Evaluation For Chief Executive Officers," Working papers 532, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1987. "The Causes and Consequences of the Dependence of Quality on Price," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(1), pages 1-48, March.
  3. Murphy, Kevin J., 1985. "Corporate performance and managerial remuneration : An empirical analysis," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1-3), pages 11-42, April.
  4. Hellwig,Martin, 1986. "Some recent developments in the theory of competition in markets with adverse selection," Discussion Paper Serie A 82, University of Bonn, Germany.
  5. Mark Rosenzweig & Andrew D. Foster, . "Comparative Advantage, Information and the Allocation of Workers to Tasks: Evidence from an Agricultural Labor Market," Home Pages _066, University of Pennsylvania.
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  8. Jean-Jacques LAFFONT & Jean TIROLE, 1990. "Adverse Selection and Renegotiation in Procurement," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 9005, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  9. Cho, In-Koo & Kreps, David M, 1987. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(2), pages 179-221, May.
  10. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
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  12. Rosenthal, Robert W & Weiss, Andrew, 1984. "Mixed-Strategy Equilibrium in a Market with Asymmetric Information," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(2), pages 333-42, April.
  13. Robert Drago & John S. Heywood, 1994. "The Choice of Payment Schemes: Australian Establishment Data," Labor and Demography 9402001, EconWPA, revised 04 Feb 1994.
  14. Charles Brown, 1990. "Firms' choice of method of pay," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(3), pages 165-182, February.
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  16. Khalil Fahad & Lawarree Jacques, 1995. "Input versus Output Monitoring: Who Is the Residual Claimant?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 139-157, June.
  17. Baker, George & Gibbs, Michael & Holmstrom, Bengt, 1994. "The Wage Policy of a Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 921-55, November.
  18. 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.
  19. Kevin J. Murphy, 1986. "Incentives, Learning, and Compensation: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation of Managerial Labor Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(1), pages 59-76, Spring.
  20. Christopher Ferrall, 1997. "Empirical Analysis of Occupational Hierarchies," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(1), pages 1-34.
  21. Edward P. Lazear, 2000. "Performance Pay and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1346-1361, December.
  22. Canice Prendergast, 1996. "What Happens Within Firms? A Survey of Empirical Evidence on Compensation Policies," NBER Working Papers 5802, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Lazear, Edward P, 1986. "Salaries and Piece Rates," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(3), pages 405-31, July.
  24. Petersen, Trond, 1991. "Reward Systems and the Distribution of Wages," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 130-58, Special I.
  25. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre & Salanie, Bernard, 1997. "Empirical contract theory: The case of insurance data," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 943-950, April.
  26. Bester, Helmut, 1985. "Screening vs. Rationing in Credit Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 850-55, September.
  27. Mailath George J. & Okuno-Fujiwara Masahiro & Postlewaite Andrew, 1993. "Belief-Based Refinements in Signalling Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 241-276, August.
  28. Biglaiser Gary & Mezzetti Claudio, 1993. "Principals Competing for an Agent in the Presence of Adverse Selection and Moral Hazard," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 302-330, December.
  29. Kaplan, Steven N, 1994. "Top Executive Rewards and Firm Performance: A Comparison of Japan and the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(3), pages 510-46, June.
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