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Performance Pay and Risk Aversion

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Author Info

  • Grund, Christian

    ()
    (RWTH Aachen University)

  • Sliwka, Dirk

    ()
    (University of Cologne)

Abstract

A main prediction of agency theory is the well known risk-incentive trade-off. Incentive contracts should be found in environments with little uncertainty and for agents with low degrees of risk aversion. There is an ongoing debate in the literature about the first trade-off. Due to lack of data, there has so far been hardly any empirical evidence about the second. Making use of a unique representative data set, we find clear evidence that risk aversion has a highly significant and substantial negative impact on the probability that an employee's pay is performance contingent.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2012.

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Length: 13 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2012

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Keywords: performance appraisal; risk aversion; incentives; risk; pay for performance; agency theory; GSOEP;

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References

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  1. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
  2. Serfes, Konstantinos, 2005. "Risk sharing vs. incentives: Contract design under two-sided heterogeneity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 88(3), pages 343-349, September.
  3. Ackerberg, D.A. & Botticini, M., 1999. "Endogenous Matching and the Empirical Determinants of Contract Form," Papers 96, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  4. Dohmen Thomas & Falk Armin, 2010. "Performance Pay and Multi-dimensional Sorting - Productivity, Preferences and Gender," ROA Research Memorandum 003, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  5. Jullien, Bruno & Salanié, Bernard & Salanié, François, 2001. "Screening Risk-Averse Agents Under Moral Hazard," IDEI Working Papers 131, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  6. Allen, Douglas W & Lueck, Dean, 1995. "Risk Preferences and the Economics of Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 447-51, May.
  7. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
  8. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde & Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, 2005. "Individual Risk Attitudes: New Evidence from a Large, Representative, Experimentally-Validated Survey," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 511, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  9. Eric Hilt, 2006. "The Negative Trade-off Between Risk and Incentives: Evidence from the American Whaling Industry," NBER Working Papers 11960, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Canice Prendergast, 2002. "The Tenuous Trade-off between Risk and Incentives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(5), pages 1071-1102, October.
  11. Pierre André Chiappori & Bernard Salanié, 2002. "Testing Contract Theory: A Survey of Some Recent Work," CESifo Working Paper Series 738, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Rajesh Aggarwal & Andrew A. Samwick, 1998. "The Other Side of the Tradeoff: The Impact of Risk on Executive Compensation," NBER Working Papers 6634, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  14. Allen, Douglas & Lueck, Dean, 1992. "Contract Choice in Modern Agriculture: Cash Rent versus Cropshare," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(2), pages 397-426, October.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Sabrina Teyssier, 2009. "Inequity and Risk Aversion in Sequential Public Good Games," Post-Print halshs-00422669, HAL.
  2. Robert Dur & Arjan Non & Hein Roelfsema, 2009. "Reciprocity and Incentive Pay in the Workplace," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 177, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  3. Armin Falk & Thomas Dohmen & Uwe Sunde, 2009. "Kontrolliert und repräsentativ: Beispiele zur Komplementarität von Labor- und Felddaten," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 10(s1), pages 54-74, 05.
  4. Engesaeth, E.J.P., 2011. "Managerial compensation contracting," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-4807459, Tilburg University.
  5. Thomas Cornelissen & John S. Heywood & Uwe Jirjahn, 2010. "Profit Sharing and Reciprocity: Theory and Survey Evidence," Research Papers in Economics 2010-04, University of Trier, Department of Economics.
  6. Sabrina Teyssier, 2008. "Experimental Evidence on Inequity Aversion and Self-Selection between Incentive Contracts," Post-Print halshs-00303727, HAL.
  7. Pfeifer, Christian, 2008. "A Note on Risk Aversion and Labour Market Outcomes: Further Evidence from German Survey Data," IZA Discussion Papers 3523, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Sabrina Teyssier, 2008. "Les Modes de Rémunération comme Mécanismes Sélectifs de la Main d’oeuvre : Fondements Théoriques et Estimations Empiriques," Working Papers 0818, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
  9. Cornelissen, Thomas & Heywood, John S. & Jirjahn, Uwe, 2011. "Performance pay, risk attitudes and job satisfaction," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 229-239, April.
  10. K. Sommerfeld, 2013. "Higher and higher? Performance pay and wage inequality in Germany," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(30), pages 4236-4247, October.
  11. Bertrand, Marianne, 2011. "New Perspectives on Gender," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.

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