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Performance Pay and Risk Aversion

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  • Grund, Christian
  • Sliwka, Dirk

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 Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich in its series Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems with number 101.

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Date of creation: Mar 2006
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Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:101

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Keywords: Agency theory; GSOEP; Incentives; Pay for performance; Performance appraisal; Risk; Risk aversion;

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References

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  1. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk, 2011. "Performance Pay and Multidimensional Sorting: Productivity, Preferences, and Gender," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 556-90, April.
  2. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde & Jurgen Schupp & Gert Wagner, 2005. "Individual risk attitudes: New evidence from a large, representative, experimentally-validated survey," Framed Field Experiments 00140, The Field Experiments Website.
  3. Daniel A. Ackerberg & Maristella Botticini, 1999. "Endogenous Matching and the Empirical Determinants of Contract Form," Papers 0096, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  4. Li, Fei & Ueda, Masako, 2005. "CEO-Firm Match and Principal-Agent Problem," CEPR Discussion Papers 5119, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Jullien, Bruno & Salanié, Bernard & Salanié, François, 2001. "Screening Risk Averse Agents Under Moral Hazard," CEPR Discussion Papers 3076, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Pierre-André Chiappori & Bernard Salanié, 2002. "Testing Contract Theory : A Survey of Some Recent Work," Working Papers 2002-11, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  9. Serfes, Konstantinos, 2005. "Risk sharing vs. incentives: Contract design under two-sided heterogeneity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 88(3), pages 343-349, September.
  10. 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.
  11. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Hilt, Eric, 2008. "The negative trade-off between risk and incentives: Evidence from the american whaling industry," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 45(4), pages 424-444, September.
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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. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. Armin Falk & Thomas Dohmen & Uwe Sunde, 2009. "Kontrolliert und repräsentativ: Beispiele zur Komplementarität von Labor- und Felddaten," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 168, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  5. 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).
  6. Sabrina Teyssier, 2008. "Les Modes de Rémunération comme MécanismesSélectifs de la Main d'oeuvre : Fondements Théoriques et Estimations Empiriques," Post-Print halshs-00303703, HAL.
  7. Bertrand, Marianne, 2011. "New Perspectives on Gender," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
  8. Sabrina Teyssier, 2008. "Experimental Evidence on Inequity Aversion and Self-Selection between Incentive Contracts," Working Papers 0821, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
  9. Thomas Cornelissen & John S. Heywood & Uwe Jirjahn, 2010. "Profit Sharing and Reciprocity: Theory and Survey Evidence," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 292, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  10. Katrin Sommerfeld, 2012. "Higher and Higher?: Performance Pay and Wage Inequality in Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 476, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  11. Engesaeth, E.J.P., 2011. "Managerial compensation contracting," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-4807459, Tilburg University.

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