Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Incentives and Worker Behavior: Some Evidence


Author Info

  • Andrew Weiss


This paper is concerned with three types of incentive programs. First, individual wage incentives that cause a worker's efforts to have a major effect on his pay. Second, group incentives in which the pay of an individual is determined by the output of a group of workers-a group can be as small as a four member work team or as large as the whole firm. Finally, seniority based payment schemes in which the pay of a worker rises rapidly with his tenure with the firm. We show that these payment schemes have the effects in practice that we would predict from optimizing behavior by workers. We find that group incentives tend to compress the productivity distribution of workers. This is because the relative performance of the most productive workers tends to fall, and the most and least productive workers have relatively high quit rates when workers are paid on group incentives. We also present evidence that suggests that the low quit rates in large Japanese firms may be due to steep wage-tenure profiles in those firms.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2194.

as in new window
Date of creation: Mar 1987
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Cooperation, Incetntives and Risk Sharing; ed. Haig Nalbantian; Rowman and Littlefield publishers, 1987
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2194

Note: LS
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page:
More information through EDIRC

Related research



No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.


Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Levine, David, 1989. "Cohesiveness, Productivity, and Wage Dispersion," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley qt8kd4d0p4, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
  2. Pablo González, 2002. "Profit Sharing Reconsidered: Efficiency Wages and Renegotiation Costs," Documentos de Trabajo, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile 151, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
  3. Abramitzky, Ran, 2009. "The effect of redistribution on migration: Evidence from the Israeli kibbutz," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 498-511, April.
  4. Joshua Herries & Daniel I. Rees & Jeffrey S. Zax, 2003. "Interdependence in worker productivity," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(5), pages 585-604.


This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


Access and download statistics


When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2194. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.