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The Effects of Group Incentives in an Indian Firm - Evidence from Payroll Data

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  • Bhattacherjee, Debashish

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business)

Abstract

This paper estimates the effects of group incentives on productivity, pay and employment in a large unionised firm in India. Using plant-level monthly time series data from the payroll office for the period 1985-95, and controlling for both (plant) fixed effects and (contract) time effects, the paper provides econometric evidence on the effectiveness of both the level and intensity of incentive pay on the outcome measures. In addition, the relative performance of two types of group incentives defined on the basis of group size is also analysed. At the firm level, the results generally confirm predictions from theory that productivity returns to centives are non-linear and concave in shape and that the effectiveness of incentives is decreasing in group size. I argue that the latter is most likely due to the lessening of the free-rider problem and the increased effectiveness of peer/mutual monitoring associated with smaller groups. The results also point to a negative relationship between the level of incentives and employment over time.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 03-14.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 17 Jan 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:aareco:2003_014

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Postal: The Aarhus School of Business, Prismet, Silkeborgvej 2, DK 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
Phone: +45 89 486396
Fax: +45 8615 5175
Web page: http://www.asb.dk/departments/nat.aspx
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Keywords: Group Incentives; Compensation; Free Riding; Peer Monitoring; Trade Unions; India;

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References

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  1. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2002. "Can labour regulation hinder economic performance? Evidence from India," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3779, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Casey Ichniowski & Kathryn Shaw, 2003. "Beyond Incentive Pay: Insiders' Estimates of the Value of Complementary Human Resource Management Practices," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 155-180, Winter.
  3. Kandel, E. & Lazear, E.P., 1990. "Peer Pressure and Partnerships," Papers 90-07, Rochester, Business - Managerial Economics Research Center.
  4. William N. Cooke, 1994. "Employee participation programs, group-based incentives, and company performance: A union-nonunion comparison," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(4), pages 594-609, July.
  5. Knez, Marc & Simester, Duncan, 2001. "Firm-Wide Incentives and Mutual Monitoring at Continental Airlines," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(4), pages 743-72, October.
  6. Bengt Holmstrom, 1981. "Moral Hazard in Teams," Discussion Papers 471, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  7. 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.
  8. Nalbantian, Haig R & Schotter, Andrew, 1997. "Productivity under Group Incentives: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 314-41, June.
  9. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
  10. James A. Dorn, 2003. "Introduction," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 23(1), pages 1-9, Spring/Su.
  11. Bhalotra, Sonia R, 1998. "The Puzzle of Jobless Growth in Indian Manufacturing," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 60(1), pages 5-32, February.
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Cited by:
  1. David Gill & Victoria Prowse & Michael Vlassopoulos, 2013. "Cheating in the workplace: An experimental study of the impact of bonuses and productivity," Economics Series Working Papers 666, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Burgess, Simon & Propper, Carol & Ratto, Marisa & Tominey, Emma, 2012. "Incentives in the Public Sector: Evidence from a Government Agency," CEPR Discussion Papers 9071, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Rai, Soumi, 2012. "Human resource management and labour relations in the Indian industrial sector," Discussion Papers, Research Group Globalization, Work, and Production SP III 2012-301, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  4. Rupayan Pal, 2011. "Union-Firm Bargaining Under Alternative Pay Schemes: Does Performance Related Pay Fair Better?," Working Papers id:3803, eSocialSciences.
  5. Kshitija Dixit & Rupayan Pal, 2010. "The impact of group incentives on performance of small firms: Hausman-Taylor estimates," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(6), pages 403-414.
  6. Shaw, Kathryn, 2009. "Insider econometrics: A roadmap with stops along the way," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 607-617, December.

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