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Bonus Payments versus Efficiency Wages in the Repeated Principal-Agent Model with Subjective Evaluations

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  • Lucas Maestri

Abstract

We study an infinitely repeated principal-agent model with subjective evaluations. We compare the surplus in efficiency-wage equilibria and in bonus-payments equilibria. The agent receives a constant wage and is motivated by the threat of dismissal in efficiency-wage equilibria. The agent receives a bonus and quits the relationship after disagreements between his self-evaluation and the principal's performance appraisal in bonus-payments equilibria. We construct a class of equilibria with bonus payments that approach efficiency as patience increases. In contrast, payoffs from efficiency-wage equilibria are bounded away from the Pareto-payoff frontier for any discount factor. (JEL D82, J33, J41)

Suggested Citation

  • Lucas Maestri, 2012. "Bonus Payments versus Efficiency Wages in the Repeated Principal-Agent Model with Subjective Evaluations," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 34-56, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmic:v:4:y:2012:i:3:p:34-56
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/mic.4.3.34
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Joyee Deb & Jin Li & Arijit Mukherjee, 2015. "Relational Contracts with Subjective Peer Evaluations," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1995, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    2. Lucia Marchegiani & Tommaso Reggiani & Matteo Rizzolli, 2013. "Severity vs. Leniency Bias in Performance Appraisal: Experimental evidence," BEMPS - Bozen Economics & Management Paper Series BEMPS01, Faculty of Economics and Management at the Free University of Bozen.
    3. Marchegiani, Lucia & Reggiani, Tommaso & Rizzolli, Matteo, 2016. "Loss averse agents and lenient supervisors in performance appraisal," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 131(PA), pages 183-197.
    4. W. Bentley MacLeod & Teck Yong Tan, 2016. "Optimal Contracting with Subjective Evaluation: The Effects of Timing, Malfeasance and Guile," NBER Working Papers 22156, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Maestri, Lucas, 2014. "The efficiency of bonus-or-terminate incentive schemes under subjective evaluations," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 412-418.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts

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