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Promotions, Demotions, Halo Effects and Earnings Dynamics of American Executives

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Author Info

  • Belzil, Christian

    ()
    (Ecole Polytechnique, Paris)

  • Bognanno, Michael L.

    ()
    (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 Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1630.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Labor Economics, 2008, 26 (2), 287-310
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1630

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Keywords: earnings growth; promotions; halo effects; hierarchies; internal labor markets;

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References

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  1. Fairburn, J.A. & Malcomson, J.M., 1995. "Performance, Promotion, and the Peter Principle," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 304.95, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  2. Kreps,David M. & Wallis,Kenneth F. (ed.), 1997. "Advances in Economics and Econometrics: Theory and Applications," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521589833, October.
  3. 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.
  4. Sherwin Rosen, 1982. "Authority, Control, and the Distribution of Earnings," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 311-323, Autumn.
  5. Kreps,David M. & Wallis,Kenneth F. (ed.), 1997. "Advances in Economics and Econometrics: Theory and Applications," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521589826, October.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Calvo, Guillermo A & Wellisz, Stanislaw, 1979. "Hierarchy, Ability, and Income Distribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 991-1010, October.
  9. Dohmen, Thomas & Kriechel, Ben & Pfann, Gerard A., 2003. "Monkey Bars and Ladders: The Importance of Lateral and Vertical Job Mobility in Internal Labor Market Careers," IZA Discussion Papers 867, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Gibbs, Michael, 1995. "Incentive compensation in a corporate hierarchy," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 247-277, April.
  11. John Haltiwanger & Marilyn E. Manser & Robert Topel, 1998. "Labor Statistics Measurement Issues," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number halt98-1, May.
  12. Belzil, Christian & Bognanno, Michael L., 2004. "The Promotion Dynamics of American Executives," IZA Discussion Papers 1003, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Bognanno, Michael L, 2001. "Corporate Tournaments," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 290-315, April.
  14. Robert Gibbons, 1997. "Incentives and Careers in Organizations," NBER Working Papers 5705, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Kreps,David M. & Wallis,Kenneth F. (ed.), 1997. "Advances in Economics and Econometrics: Theory and Applications," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521589819, October.
  16. 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.
  17. McCue, Kristin, 1996. "Promotions and Wage Growth," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(2), pages 175-209, April.
  18. 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.
  19. Edward P. Lazear, 1999. "Personnel Economics: Past Lessons and Future Directions," NBER Working Papers 6957, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. 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).
  2. Giovanni Russo & Wolter Hassink, 2008. "The Part-Time Wage Gap: a Career Perspective," De Economist, Springer, vol. 156(2), pages 145-174, June.

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