The Benefits of Aggregate Performance Metrics in the Presence of Career Concerns
AbstractThis paper considers the desirability of aggregate performance measures in light of the fact that many individuals' performance incentives are driven by a desire to shape external perceptions (and thus pay). In contrast to the case of explicit contracts, we find that when individuals' actions are driven by implicit career incentives, aggregate (summary) measures can sometimes alleviate moral hazard concerns and improve efficiency. Summarization intermingles performance measures which are differentially affected by skill and effort. Such entanglement increases the prospect that the market will attribute effort-driven successes to the agent's innate skill rather than to his effort, rewarding him accordingly going forward. This possibility encourages the employee to exert higher effort as a means of posturing to the external market. The incentive benefit of aggregation is weighed against the incentive cost due to information loss. Information loss from aggregation can reduce the market's reliance on the measure and, thus, diminish the agent's desire to influence it by exerting effort.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Yale School of Management in its series Yale School of Management Working Papers with number amz2549.
Date of creation: 01 Sep 2007
Date of revision: 01 Jan 2009
Aggregation; Career concerns; Implicit incentives;
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