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

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Author Info

  • Christian Belzil

    ()
    (GATE - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - Ecole Normale Supérieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines)

  • Michael Bognanno

    (Department of economics - Temple University)

Abstract

This paper explores the dynamics of wage growth in corporate hierarchies. Using panel data techniques, we estimate the causal effect of current and past transitions in reporting level and past earnings growth on components of current earnings and earnings growth using a large panel of US executives. After conditioning on unobserved heterogeneity, current compensation growth is positively correlated with past promotion outcomes but negatively correlated with past compensation growth. In a flexible model of wage growth, there is an important asymmetry between the effect of a promotion and a demotion. The effect of promotion is smaller in magnitude than the effect of a demotion. The causal effect of a promotion is positive on both growth in base pay and total cash compensation but is negative on bonus growth. The effect of a demotion is negative on growth in all pay components.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number halshs-00354270.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Publication status: Published, Journal of Labor Economics, 2008, 26, 2, pp. 287-310
Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00354270

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Keywords: wage growth ; corporate hierarchies;

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  1. Bognanno, Michael L, 2001. "Corporate Tournaments," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 290-315, April.
  2. Christian Belzil & Michael Bognanno, 2004. "The Promotion Dynamics of American Executives," Post-Print halshs-00180126, HAL.
  3. 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.
  4. John Haltiwanger & Marilyn E. Manser & Robert Topel, 1998. "Labor Statistics Measurement Issues," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number halt98-1, July.
  5. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  6. Thomas J. Dohmen & Ben Kriechel & Gerard A. Pfann, 2004. "Monkey bars and ladders: The importance of lateral and vertical job mobility in internal labor market careers," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 193-228, 06.
  7. Edward P. Lazear, 1999. "Personnel Economics: Past Lessons and Future Directions," NBER Working Papers 6957, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Sherwin Rosen, 1982. "Authority, Control, and the Distribution of Earnings," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 311-323, Autumn.
  12. Robert Gibbons, 1996. "Incentives and Careers in Organizations," NBER Working Papers 5705, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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.
  14. Gibbs, Michael, 1995. "Incentive compensation in a corporate hierarchy," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 247-277, April.
  15. 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.
  16. McCue, Kristin, 1996. "Promotions and Wage Growth," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(2), pages 175-209, April.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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).
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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).

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