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Hidden effort, learning by doing, and wage dynamics

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  • Arantxa Jarque

Abstract

Many occupations are subject to learning by doing: Effort at the workplace early in the career of a worker results in higher productivity later on. In such occupations, if effort at work is unobservable, a moral hazard problem also arises. We study a particular specification of learning by doing in which the conditional distribution of output depends on the sum of undepreciated efforts. With this specification, we can overcome the technical difficulties for solving for the optimal contract that arise because of the persistent effects of effort in time. Our numerical example shows that effort is frontloaded over the contractual relationship, and follows a steeper decreasing pattern than in the case without learning by doing. On the other hand, the properties of wage dynamics remain unchanged with respect to those of the optimal contract without learning by doing.

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  • Arantxa Jarque, 2010. "Hidden effort, learning by doing, and wage dynamics," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, vol. 96(4Q), pages 339-372.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedreq:y:2010:i:4q:p:339-372:n:v.96no.4
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    Cited by:

    1. Wang, Cheng, 1997. "Incentives, CEO Compensation, and Shareholder Wealth in a Dynamic Agency Model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 72-105, September.
    2. Arantxa Jarque & Muth John, 2013. "Evaluating Executive Compensation Packages," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue 4Q, pages 251-285.

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