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Wage Floors and Optimal Job Design

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  • Kragl, Jenny
  • Schöttner, Anja

Abstract

We analyze the effects of lower bounds on wages, e.g., minimum wages or liability limits, on job design within firms. In our model, two tasks contribute to non-verifiable firm value and affect an imperfect performance measure. The tasks can be assigned to either one or two agents. In the absence of a wage floor, it is optimal to assign the tasks to different agents whenever the agents' reservation utility is not too large. Under such a job design, the principal can tailor incentives according to each task's marginal productivity. By contrast, with a relatively large wage floor, the principal gradually lowers effort incentives to avoid rent payments to the agents, even before the wage floor exceeds the agents' reservation utility. If the wage floor is sufficiently large, the principal hires only one agent even though this leads to a distortion of effort across tasks or the non-execution of one task altogether. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association in its series Annual Conference 2011 (Frankfurt, Main): The Order of the World Economy - Lessons from the Crisis with number 48731.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc11:48731

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Web page: http://www.socialpolitik.org/
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Related research

Keywords: Job Design; Moral Hazard; Multitasking; Wage Floor; Minimum Wage; Limited Liability;

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References

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  1. Itoh, Hideshi, 1994. "Job design, delegation and cooperation: A principal-agent analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 691-700, April.
  2. Laux, Christian, 2001. "Limited-Liability and Incentive Contracting with Multiple Projects," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(3), pages 514-26, Autumn.
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  5. Itoh, Hideshi, 2001. "Job design and incentives in hierarchies with team production," Hitotsubashi Journal of commerce and management, Hitotsubashi University, vol. 36(1), pages 1-17, January.
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  7. Patrick W. Schmitz, 2005. "Allocating control in agency problems with limited liability and sequential hidden actions," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse27_2005, University of Bonn, Germany.
  8. Alan B. Krueger & David Card, 2000. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1397-1420, December.
  9. Wendelin Schnedler, 2008. "When Is It Foolish to Reward for A While Benefiting from B?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(4), pages 595-619, October.
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  12. Alan Manning, 2010. "Imperfect competition in the labour market," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28729, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  13. Arindrajit Dube & T. William Lester & Michael Reich, 2010. "Minimum Wage Effects Across State Borders: Estimates Using Contiguous Counties," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 945-964, November.
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  16. 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.
  17. Anja Schöttner, 2008. "Relational Contracts, Multitasking, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 138-162, May.
  18. Lewis, Tracy R & Sappington, David E M, 2000. "Contracting with Wealth-Constrained Agents," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(3), pages 743-67, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2013. "Job design with conflicting tasks reconsidered," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 108-117.

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