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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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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167-2681(08)00127-3
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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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Malcomson, J., 1998. "Individual employment contracts," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 9804, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  5. David Dickinson & Marie Claire Villeval, 2004. "Does Monitoring Decrease Work Effort? The Complementarity Between Agency and Crowding-Out Theories," Post-Print halshs-00175010, HAL.
  6. Clark, Andrew E. & Masclet, David & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2006. "Effort and Comparison Income: Experimental and Survey Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 2169, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Dohmen, Thomas & Falk, Armin, 2006. "Performance Pay and Multi-dimensional Sorting: Productivity, Preferences and Gender," IZA Discussion Papers 2001, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Daniel Houser & Erte Xiao & Kevin McCabe & Vernon Smith, 2005. "When Punishment Fails: Research on Sanctions, Intentions and Non- Cooperation," Experimental 0502001, EconWPA, revised 18 Feb 2005.
  11. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, . "Fairness, Incentives, and Contractual Choices," IEW - Working Papers 020, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
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  14. 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.
  15. Edward P. Lazear, 1996. "Performance Pay and Productivity," NBER Working Papers 5672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. 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.
  17. W. Bentley MacLeod & Daniel Parent, 1998. "Job Characteristics and the Form of Compensation," CIRANO Working Papers 98s-08, CIRANO.
  18. Bellemare, Charles & Shearer, Bruce S., 2006. "Sorting, Incentives and Risk Preferences: Evidence from a Field Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 2227, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. Daniel Parent, 1999. "Methods of Pay and Earnings: A Longitudinal Analysis," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(1), pages 71-86, October.
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  22. Jason Barro & Nancy Beaulieu, 2003. "Selection and Improvement: Physician Responses to Financial Incentives," NBER Working Papers 10017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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