Social Connections and Incentives in the Workplace: Evidence From Personnel Data
We present evidence on the effect of social connections between workers and managers on productivity in the workplace. To evaluate whether the existence of social connections is beneficial to the firm's overall performance, we explore how the effects of social connections vary with the strength of managerial incentives and worker's ability. To do so, we combine panel data on individual worker's productivity from personnel records with a natural field experiment in which we engineered an exogenous change in managerial incentives, from fixed wages to bonuses based on the average productivity of the workers managed. We find that when managers are paid fixed wages, they favor workers to whom they are socially connected irrespective of the worker's ability, but when they are paid performance bonuses, they target their effort toward high ability workers irrespective of whether they are socially connected to them or not. Although social connections increase the performance of connected workers, we find that favoring connected workers is detrimental for the firm's overall performance. Copyright 2009 The Econometric Society.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 77 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (07)
|Contact details of provider:|| Phone: 1 212 998 3820|
Fax: 1 212 995 4487
Web page: http://www.econometricsociety.org/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Web: https://www.econometricsociety.org/publications/econometrica/access/ordering-back-issues Email: |
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Canice Prendergast & Robert H. Topel, 1993.
"Favoritism in Organizations,"
NBER Working Papers
4427, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Milgrom, Paul R, 1988.
"Employment Contracts, Influence Activities, and Efficient Organization Design,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(1), pages 42-60, February.
- Paul R. Milgrom., 1987. "Employment Contracts, Influence Activities and Efficient Organization Design," Economics Working Papers 8741, University of California at Berkeley.
- Milgrom, Paul R., 1987. "employment contracts, influence activities and efficient organization design," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt6pf6c5j6, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Kofman, Fred & Lawarree, Jacques, 1993.
"Collusion in Hierarchical Agency,"
Econometric Society, vol. 61(3), pages 629-56, May.
- Kofman, F. & Lawarree, J., 1990. "Collusion in Hierarchical Agency," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 91-01, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
- Kofman, F. & Lawarree, J., 1990. "Collusion in Hierarchical Agency," Working Papers 91-01, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
- Bertrand, Marianne & Schoar, Antoinette, 2003.
"Managing With Style: The Effect of Managers on Firm Policies,"
4280-02, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
- Marianne Bertrand & Antoinette Schoar, 2003. "Managing With Style: The Effect Of Managers On Firm Policies," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1169-1208, November.
- Daniel S. Nagin & James B. Rebitzer & Seth Sanders & Lowell J. Taylor, 2002.
"Monitoring, Motivation, and Management: The Determinants of Opportunistic Behavior in a Field Experiment,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 850-873, September.
- Daniel Nagin & James Rebitzer & Seth Sanders & Lowell Taylor, 2002. "Monitoring, Motivation and Management: The Determinants of Opportunistic Behavior in a Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 8811, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gary Charness & Peter Kuhn, 2005. "Pay Inequality, Pay Secrecy, and Effort: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 11786, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kandel, E. & Lazear, E.P., 1990.
"Peer Pressure and Partnerships,"
90-07, Rochester, Business - Managerial Economics Research Center.
- Giuliano, Laura & Levine, David I. & Leonard, Jonathan, 2006. "Do Race, Age, and Gender Differences Affect Manager-Employee Relations? An Analysis of Quits, Dismissals, and Promotions at a Large Retail Firm," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt9tc8n5j7, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
- Edward P. Lazear, 1996.
"Performance Pay and Productivity,"
NBER Working Papers
5672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Laband, David N & Piette, Michael J, 1994. "Favoritism versus Search for Good Papers: Empirical Evidence Regarding the Behavior of Journal Editors," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(1), pages 194-203, February.
- repec:oup:qjecon:v:118:y:2003:i:4:p:1169-1208 is not listed on IDEAS
- Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L, 1988. "Fairness and Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 44-49, May.
- Ulrike Malmendier & Geoffrey Tate, 2005.
"CEO Overconfidence and Corporate Investment,"
Journal of Finance,
American Finance Association, vol. 60(6), pages 2661-2700, December.
- Tirole, Jean, 1986. "Hierarchies and Bureaucracies: On the Role of Collusion in Organizations," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(2), pages 181-214, Fall.
- Harry J. Paarsch & Bruce S. Shearer, 1999. "The Response of Worker Effort to Piece Rates: Evidence from the British Columbia Tree-Planting Industry," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(4), pages 643-667.
- repec:oup:qjecon:v:120:y:2005:i:4:p:1371-1411 is not listed on IDEAS
- Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004.
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
- Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2003.
"Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Oxford University Press, vol. 70(3), pages 489-520.
- Casey Ichniowski & Kathryn Shaw, 2003. "Beyond Incentive Pay: Insiders' Estimates of the Value of Complementary Human Resource Management Practices," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 155-180, Winter.
- Lazear, Edward P, 1989. "Pay Equality and Industrial Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 561-80, June.
- Sandra E. Black & Philip E. Strahan, 2001. "The Division of Spoils: Rent-Sharing and Discrimination in a Regulated Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 814-831, September.
- 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.
- Rotemberg, Julio J, 1994. "Human Relations in the Workplace," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 684-717, August.
- Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "The Efficiency of Equity in Organizational Decision Processes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 154-59, May.
- Laura Giuliano & David I. Levine & Jonathon Leonard, 2006. "An Analysis of Quits, Dismissals, and Promotions at a Large Retail Firm," Working Papers 0721, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
- repec:oup:qjecon:v:97:y:1982:i:4:p:543-69 is not listed on IDEAS
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:77:y:2009:i:4:p:1047-1094. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)or (Christopher F. Baum)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.