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Positive Self-image and Incentives in Organisations

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  • Luís Santos-Pinto

Abstract

This paper investigates the implications of workers' mistaken beliefs about their abilities on incentives in organisations. It shows that if effort is observable, then an agent's mistaken beliefs about his own ability are favourable to the principal. However, when effort is unobservable an agent's mistaken beliefs about his own ability can be either favourable or unfavourable to the principal. The article provides conditions under which an agent's overestimation about his own ability is favourable to the principal when effort is unobservable. The article shows that workers' mistaken beliefs about their co-workers' abilities make interdependent incentive schemes more attractive to firms than individualistic ones. Copyright (C) The Author(s). Journal compilation (C) Royal Economic Society 2008.

Suggested Citation

  • Luís Santos-Pinto, 2008. "Positive Self-image and Incentives in Organisations," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(531), pages 1315-1332, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:118:y:2008:i:531:p:1315-1332
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Sloof, Randolph & van Praag, C. Mirjam, 2010. "The effect of noise in a performance measure on work motivation: A real effort laboratory experiment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 751-765, October.
    2. Jean-Louis Rullière & Isabelle Vialle & Luis Santos Pinto, 2011. "Self-confidence and teamwork: An experimental test," Post-Print halshs-00673332, HAL.
    3. Sandra Ludwig & Julia Nafziger, 2011. "Beliefs about overconfidence," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 70(4), pages 475-500, April.
    4. Anja Sautmann, 2013. "Contracts for Agents with Biased Beliefs: Some Theory and an Experiment," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 124-156, August.
    5. de la Rosa, Leonidas Enrique, 2011. "Overconfidence and moral hazard," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 429-451.
    6. Legge, Stefan & Schmid, Lukas, 2013. "Rankings, Random Successes, and Individual Performance," Economics Working Paper Series 1340, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    7. Botond Köszegi, 2014. "Behavioral Contract Theory," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 52(4), pages 1075-1118, December.
    8. Valeria Maggian & Antonio Nicolò, 2016. "The wrong man for the job: biased beliefs and job mismatching," Post-Print halshs-01324733, HAL.
    9. Leonidas Enrique De La Rosa, 2008. "Overconfidence in a Career-Concerns Setting," CESifo Working Paper Series 2405, CESifo Group Munich.
    10. Donald Cox & Beth J. Soldo, 2004. "Motivation for Money and Care that Adult Children Provide for Parents: Evidence from "Point-Blank" Survey Questions," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College 2004-17, Center for Retirement Research.
    11. Kim, Jaesoo, 2015. "Managerial beliefs and incentive policies," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 84-95.
    12. Dohmen, Thomas, 2014. "Behavioral labor economics: Advances and future directions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 71-85.
    13. Sandra Ludwig & Julia Nafziger, 2007. "Do You Know That I Am Biased? An Experiment," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse11_2007, University of Bonn, Germany.
    14. Inés Macho-Stadler & David Pérez-Castrillo, 2016. "Moral Hazard: Base Models and Two Extensions," Working Papers 883, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    15. Sarah Auster, 2011. "Asymmetric Awareness and Moral Hazard," Economics Working Papers ECO2011/, European University Institute.
    16. Ludwig, Sandra & Wichardt, Philip C. & Wickhorst, Hanke, 2011. "On the Positive Effects of Overcon fident Self-Perception in Teams," Discussion Papers in Economics 12246, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    17. Luís Santos-Pinto, 2012. "Labor Market Signaling and Self-Confidence: Wage Compression and the Gender Pay Gap," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(4), pages 873-914.
    18. Thoma, Carmen, 2013. "Is Underconfidence Favored over Overconfidence? An Experiment on the Perception of a Biased Self-Assessment," Discussion Papers in Economics 17460, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    19. Auster, Sarah, 2013. "Asymmetric awareness and moral hazard," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 503-521.
    20. Philipp Weinschenk, 2010. "Moral Hazard and Ambiguity," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2010_39, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    21. FOSCHI, Matteo; SANTOS-PINTO, Luís Pedro, 2017. "Subjective Performance Evaluation of Employees with Biased Beliefs," Economics Working Papers ECO 2017/08, European University Institute.
    22. Sarah Auster, 2012. "Asymmetric Awareness and Moral Hazard," Economics Working Papers ECO2012/23, European University Institute.
    23. Carmen Thoma, 2016. "Under- versus overconfidence: an experiment on how others perceive a biased self-assessment," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(1), pages 218-239, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines

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