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Reputation, career concerns, and job assignments

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  • Leonardo Martinez

Abstract

Does a worker who had a successful career have stronger or weaker incentives to manipulate his reputation than a worker who performed poorly? This paper presents a tractable model that allows us to study career concerns when the strength of a worker’s incentives depends on his employment history (the history of his past actions, jobs, and performances). More specifically, the paper incorporates standard job assignments into the main model in Holmstrom’s (1999) seminal paper on career concerns. Equilibrium wages, equilibrium job assignments, and the strength of career-concern incentives are the same for all employment histories that lead to the same worker's reputation. (With reputation we refer to beliefs about the worker's future productivity.) We show that, typically, workers with a better reputation have stronger incentives than workers with a worse reputation. Furthermore, we show that when the strength of incentives depends on employment history, (i) a ratchet effect may appear, (ii) in spite of this ratchet effect, incentives may be stronger, and (iii) incentives may be stronger when beliefs about ability are more precise. ; Previous title: Reputation and career concerns

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond in its series Working Paper with number 06-01.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedrwp:06-01

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Keywords: Stochastic analysis;

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Cited by:
  1. Camargo, Braz & Pastorino, Elena, 2012. "Career concerns: A human capital perspective," Textos para discussão 288, Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
  2. Heski Bar-Isaac & Joyee Deb, 2012. "Reputation for a Servant of Two Masters," Working Papers 12-08, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  3. Leonardo Martinez, 2009. "Why could political incentives be different during election times?," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Sum, pages 315-334.

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