Cognitive dissonance and the overtaking anomaly: Psychology in the principal-agent relationship
We propose that the concept of cognitive dissonance contributes to the explanation of the regularity that wages grow faster than productivity. Cognitive dissonance is the tendency of a person to engage in self-justification after a decision. We show that a consequence of this tendency is that agents prefer increasing sequences of surplus over their career. This is achieved by paying wages less than productivity early in the career and more than productivity later. We refer to this as the overtaking anomaly. We distinguish the cognitive dissonance explanation from other explanations of the overtaking anomaly by identifying their divergent implications.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 38 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Akerlof, George A & Dickens, William T, 1982. "The Economic Consequences of Cognitive Dissonance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 307-19, June.
- Lazear, Edward P, 1979. "Why Is There Mandatory Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1261-84, December.
- Matthew Rabin., 1991.
"Cognitive Dissonance and Social Change,"
Economics Working Papers
91-180, University of California at Berkeley.
- Lowenstein, George & Prelec, Drazen, 1991. "Negative Time Preference," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 347-52, May.
- Joanne Salop & Steven Salop, 1976. "Self-Selection and Turnover in the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 90(4), pages 619-627.
- Hosseini, Hamid, 1997. "Cognitive dissonance as a means of explaining economics of irrationality and uncertainty," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 181-189.
- Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680, December.
- Robert J. Oxoby, 2004. "Cognitive dissonance, status and growth of the underclass," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(498), pages 727-749, October.
- Joanne Salop & Steven C. Salop, 1976. "Self-selection and turnover in the labor market," Special Studies Papers 80, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Christian Grund & Dirk Sliwka, 2007.
"Reference-Dependent Preferences and the Impact of Wage Increases on Job Satisfaction: Theory and Evidence,"
Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE),
Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 163(2), pages 313-335, June.
- Grund, Christian & Sliwka, Dirk, 2005. "Reference Dependent Preferences and the Impact of Wage Increases on Job Satisfaction: Theory and Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 1879, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Haagsma, Rein & Koning, Niek, 2002. "Endogenous mobility-reducing norms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 523-547, December.
- Alessandro Balestrino & Cinzia Ciardi, 2007.
"Social Norms, Cognitive Dissonance and the Timing of Marriage,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
2068, CESifo Group Munich.
- Balestrino, Alessandro & Ciardi, Cinzia, 2008. "Social norms, cognitive dissonance and the timing of marriage," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 2399-2410, December.
- Bai, Chong-en, 1997. "Earnings profile and monitoring under asymmetric information," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 219-225, December.
- Debraj Ray, 2002. "The Time Structure of Self-Enforcing Agreements," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 547-582, March.
- Gilad, Benjamin & Kaish, Stanley & Loeb, Peter D., 1987. "Cognitive dissonance and utility maximization : A general framework," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 61-73, March.
- Smith Freeman, 1977. "Wage Trends as Performance Displays Productive Potential: A Model and Application to Academic Early Retirement," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 8(2), pages 419-443, Autumn.
- Flabbi, Luca & Ichino, Andrea, 2001.
"Productivity, seniority and wages: new evidence from personnel data,"
Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 359-387, June.
- Flabbi, Luca & Ichino, Andrea, 1998. "Productivity, Seniority and Wages: New Evidence from Personnel Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 1966, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Ichino, A. & Flabbi, L., 1998. "Productivity, Seniority and Wages. New Evidence form Personnel Data," Economics Working Papers eco98/11, European University Institute.
- Edward P. Lazear, 1999. "Personnel Economics: Past Lessons and Future Directions," NBER Working Papers 6957, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Loewenstein, George F & Sicherman, Nachum, 1991. "Do Workers Prefer Increasing Wage Profiles?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(1), pages 67-84, January.
- Chapman, Gretchen B., 1996. "Expectations and Preferences for Sequences of Health and Money," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 59-75, July.
- Oxoby, Robert J., 2003. "Attitudes and allocations: status, cognitive dissonance, and the manipulation of attitudes," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 365-385, November.
- Kyota Eguchi, 2000. "Effects of Monitoring Costs on Employment Adjustment and Wage Profiles," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 51(4), pages 568-582, December.
- James Konow, 2000. "Fair Shares: Accountability and Cognitive Dissonance in Allocation Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1072-1091, September.
- Gary Gigliotti & Barry Sopher, 1996.
"Violations of Present-value Maximization in Income Choice,"
Departmental Working Papers
199624, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
- Gary Gigliotti & Barry Sopher, 1997. "Violations of Present-Value Maximization in Income Choice," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 45-69, July.
- Clark, Andrew E., 1999. "Are wages habit-forming? evidence from micro data," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 179-200, June.
- Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 2000. "Habit Formation in Consumption and Its Implications for Monetary-Policy Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 367-390, June.
- Frank, Robert H. & Hutchens, Robert M., 1993. "Wages, seniority, and the demand for rising consumption profiles," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 251-276, August.
- James L. Medoff & Katharine G. Abraham, 1980.
"Experience, Performance, and Earnings,"
NBER Working Papers
0278, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Milton Harris & Bengt Holmstrom, 1982. "A Theory of Wage Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(3), pages 315-333.
- Lazear, Edward P, 1981. "Agency, Earnings Profiles, Productivity, and Hours Restrictions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 606-20, September.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:38:y:2009:i:4:p:684-690. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.