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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. Marie-Claire Villeval & David Dickinson, 2004. "Does Monitoring Decrease Work Effort ? The Complementarity Between Agency and Crowding-Out Theories," Working Papers 0409, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
  2. 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.
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  4. Andrew E. Clark & David Masclet & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2008. "Effort and Comparison Income: Experimental and Survey Evidence," CEP Discussion Papers dp0886, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. Dohmen Thomas & Falk Armin, 2010. "Performance Pay and Multi-dimensional Sorting - Productivity, Preferences and Gender," Research Memorandum 012, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  6. W. Bentley MacLeod & Daniel Parent, 1998. "Job Characteristics and the Form of Compensation," CIRANO Working Papers 98s-08, CIRANO.
  7. Jason Barro & Nancy Beaulieu, 2003. "Selection and Improvement: Physician Responses to Financial Incentives," NBER Working Papers 10017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. Eriksson, Tor & Teyssier, Sabrina & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2006. "Self-Selection and the Efficiency of Tournaments," IZA Discussion Papers 1983, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Edward P. Lazear, 2000. "Performance Pay and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1346-1361, December.
  11. 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.
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  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Malcomson, James M., 1999. "Individual employment contracts," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 35, pages 2291-2372 Elsevier.
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  19. repec:eme:rlepps:v:18:y:1999:i:1999:p:177-242 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. 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.
  21. Uri Gneezy & Aldo Rustichini, 2000. "Pay Enough Or Don'T Pay At All," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 791-810, August.
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