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A Rent Extraction View of Employee Discounts and Benefits

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  • Anthony Marino

    ()
    (USC)

  • Jan Zabojnik

    ()
    (Queen's University)

Abstract

We offer a novel view of employee discounts and in kind compensation. In our theory, bundling perks and cash compensation allows a firm to extract information rents from employees who have private information about their preferences for the perk and about their outside opportunities. We show that in maximizing profit with heterogeneous workers, the firm creates different bundles of the perk and salary in response to different employee characteristics and marginal costs of the perk. Our key result is that strategic bundling can lead firms to provide perks even in the absence of any cost advantage over the outside market and to deviate from the standard marginal cost pricing rule. We study how this deviation depends upon the set of feasible contracts, upon the perk's marginal cost, and upon the correlation between the agents' preferences for the good and their reservation utilities.

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File URL: http://qed.econ.queensu.ca/working_papers/papers/qed_wp_1108.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Queen's University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1108.

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Date of creation: Sep 2006
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Handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:1108

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Keywords: In Kind Compensation; Bundling; Optimal Employment Contracts;

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References

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  1. Adams, William James & Yellen, Janet L, 1976. "Commodity Bundling and the Burden of Monopoly," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 475-98, August.
  2. Montgomery, Edward & Shaw, Kathryn & Benedict, Mary Ellen, 1992. "Pensions and Wages: An Hedonic Price Theory Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 33(1), pages 111-28, February.
  3. Stephen A. Woodbury, 2009. "Unemployment," Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers, in: Kenneth G. Dau-Schmidt & Seth D. Harris & Orley Lobel (ed.), Labor and Employment Law and Economics, volume 2, pages 480-516 W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  4. Jullien, Bruno, 1997. "Participation Constraints in Adverse Selection Models," IDEI Working Papers 67, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  5. Rajan, Raghuram G. & Wulf, Julie, 2006. "Are perks purely managerial excess?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 1-33, January.
  6. Oyer, Paul, 2004. "Salary or Benefits?," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt8xs3k3j8, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  7. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John & Whinston, Michael D, 1989. "Multiproduct Monopoly, Commodity Bundling, and Correlation of Values," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 371-83, May.
  8. Lewis, Tracy R. & Sappington, David E. M., 1989. "Countervailing incentives in agency problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 294-313, December.
  9. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
  10. Brown, Charles, 1980. "Equalizing Differences in the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 94(1), pages 113-34, February.
  11. Paul Oyer, 2005. "Salary or Benefits?," NBER Working Papers 11817, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Acemoglu, Daron, 2001. "Good Jobs versus Bad Jobs," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 1-21, January.
  13. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Sebastian Kube & Michel Andre Marechal & Clemens Puppe, 2012. "The Currency of Reciprocity: Gift Exchange in the Workplace," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1644-62, June.
  2. Michael D. Grubb & Paul Oyer, 2008. "Who Benefits from Tax-Advantaged Employee Benefits?: Evidence from University Parking," NBER Working Papers 14062, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Weinschenk, Philipp, 2013. "Compensation, perks, and welfare," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(1), pages 67-70.

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