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Performance pay and productivity of low- and high-ability workers

  • Franceschelli, Ignacio
  • Galiani, Sebastian
  • Gulmez, Eduardo

Existing literature has mainly focused on analyses of the overall effect of a change in the incentive scheme. Lazear (Lazear, E., 2000, "Performance pay and productivity", American Economic Review, 90, 1346-1361.), for example, estimates the average increase in productivity after a firm switches from an hourly-wage scheme to a piece-rate plus basic-wage scheme. His paper does not, however, account for the fact that many workers remained within the basic-wage range after the change was made in the incentive scheme. In the present paper we explore how the incentive effect might have been different for those workers seeking the basic wage, and those workers seeking the piece-rate component of the wage. Interestingly, the change in productivity is approximately the same in percentage terms for both types of workers.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 17 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 317-322

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:17:y:2010:i:2:p:317-322
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/labeco

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  1. Paarsch, Harry J. & Shearer, Bruce, 1996. "Piece Rates, Fixed Wages, and Incentive Effects: Statistical Evidence from Payroll Records," Cahiers de recherche 9623, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
  2. Bruce Shearer, 2004. "Piece Rates, Fixed Wages and Incentives: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(2), pages 513-534, 04.
  3. Baker, George P, 1992. "Incentive Contracts and Performance Measurement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 598-614, June.
  4. Joshua D. Angrist, 2003. "Treatment Effect Heterogeneity in Theory and Practice," NBER Working Papers 9708, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Stephen G. Donald & Kevin Lang, 2007. "Inference with Difference-in-Differences and Other Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 221-233, May.
  6. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
  7. Imran Rasul & Iwan Barankay & Orana Bandiera, 2005. "Social preferences and the response to incentives: Evidence from personnel data," Natural Field Experiments 00212, The Field Experiments Website.
  8. Edward P. Lazear, 2000. "Performance Pay and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1346-1361, December.
  9. Gibbons, Robert, 1987. "Piece-Rate Incentive Schemes," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(4), pages 413-29, October.
  10. Barton H. Hamilton & Jack A. Nickerson & Hideo Owan, 2003. "Team Incentives and Worker Heterogeneity: An Empirical Analysis of the Impact of Teams on Productivity and Participation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(3), pages 465-497, June.
  11. Lazear, Edward P, 1986. "Salaries and Piece Rates," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(3), pages 405-31, July.
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