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The effect of external incentives on profits and firm-provided incentives strategy

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  • Azar, Ofer H.

Abstract

The article examines the firm's choice of incentives when workers face additional incentives (“external incentives”) to those provided by the firm, such as building reputation that improves the workers' prospects with other employers, or satisfaction from working well. Surprisingly, the firm might find it optimal to increase the incentives it provides following an increase in external incentives. Even if the firm reduces its incentives, however, total incentives unambiguously increase, leading to higher effort and profits. This implies that firms should try to increase the external incentives that their workers face; I suggest several ways firms can do so.
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Suggested Citation

  • Azar, Ofer H., 2008. "The effect of external incentives on profits and firm-provided incentives strategy," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 149-156, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:37:y:2008:i:1:p:149-156
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kandel, Eugene & Lazear, Edward P, 1992. "Peer Pressure and Partnerships," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 801-817, August.
    2. Barron, John M & Gjerde, Kathy Paulson, 1997. "Peer Pressure in an Agency Relationship," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(2), pages 234-254, April.
    3. 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.
    4. Rogerson, William P, 1985. "Repeated Moral Hazard," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(1), pages 69-76, January.
    5. Dilip Mookherjee, 1984. "Optimal Incentive Schemes with Many Agents," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(3), pages 433-446.
    6. Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1986. "Common Agency," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 923-942, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ofer Azar, 2009. "Incentives and service quality in the restaurant industry: the tipping-service puzzle," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(15), pages 1917-1927.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects
    • M20 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Economics - - - General

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