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Performance-pay, sorting and social motivation

  • Eriksson, Tor
  • Villeval, Marie Claire

Variable pay links pay and performance but may also help firms to attract more productive employees. Our experiment investigates the impact of performance-pay on both incentives and sorting and analyzes the influence of repeated interactions between firms and employees on these effects. We show that (i) the opportunity to switch from a fixed wage to variable pay scheme increases the average effort level and its variance, and (ii) high skill employees concentrate under the variable pay scheme; (iii) however, in repeated interactions, efficiency wages reduce the attraction of performance-pay. Social motivation and reputation influence both the provision of incentives and their sorting effect.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 68 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (November)
Pages: 412-421

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:68:y:2008:i:2:p:412-421
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

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  1. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk, 2011. "Performance Pay and Multidimensional Sorting: Productivity, Preferences, and Gender," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 556-90, April.
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  3. Booth, Alison L & Frank, Jeff, 1999. "Earnings, Productivity, and Performance-Related Pay," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(3), pages 447-63, July.
  4. Simon Gächter & Ernst Fehr, . "Fairness in the Labour Market – A Survey of Experimental Results," IEW - Working Papers 114, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  5. 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.
  6. Fehr, Ernst & Kirchsteiger, Georg & Riedl, Arno, 1996. "Involuntary Unemployment and Non-compensating Wage Differentials in an Experimental Labour Market," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(434), pages 106-21, January.
  7. Daniel Parent, 1999. "Methods of pay and earnings: A longitudinal analysis," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(1), pages 71-86, October.
  8. Bellemare, Charles & Shearer, Bruce, 2010. "Sorting, incentives and risk preferences: Evidence from a field experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 108(3), pages 345-348, September.
  9. Houser, Daniel & Xiao, Erte & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon, 2008. "When punishment fails: Research on sanctions, intentions and non-cooperation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 509-532, March.
  10. Tor Eriksson & Sabrina Teyssier & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2006. "Self-Selection and the Efficiency of Tournaments," Working Papers 0603, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
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  14. repec:eme:rlepps:v:18:y:1999:i:1999:p:177-242 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Edward P. Lazear, 2000. "Performance Pay and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1346-1361, December.
  16. Georg Kirchsteiger & Ernst Fehr & Simon Gächter, 1997. "Reciprocity as a contract enforcement device: experimental evidence," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5911, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  17. W. Bentley MacLeod & Daniel Parent, 1998. "Job Characteristics and the Form of Compensation," CIRANO Working Papers 98s-08, CIRANO.
  18. Falk, Armin & Gachter, Simon & Kovacs, Judit, 1999. "Intrinsic motivation and extrinsic incentives in a repeated game with incomplete contracts," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 251-284, June.
  19. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2000. "Fairness, incentives, and contractual choices," Munich Reprints in Economics 20659, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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