IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Piece Rates, Fixed Wages, and Incentive Effects: Statistical Evidence from Payroll Records

  • Paarsch, Harry J
  • Shearer, Bruce

We develop and estimate an agency model of worker behavior under piece rates and fixed wages. The model implies optimal decision rules for the firm's choice of a compensation system as a function of working conditions. Our model also implies an upper and lower bound to the incentive effect (the productivity gain realized by paying workers piece rates rather than fixed wages) that can be estimated using regression methods. Using daily productivity data collected from the payroll records of a British Columbia tree-planting firm, we estimate these bounds to be an 8.8 and a 60.4 percent increase in productivity. Structural estimation, which accounts for the firm's optimal choice of a compensation system, suggests that incentives caused a 22.6 percent increase in productivity. However, only part of this increase represents valuable output because workers respond to incentives, in part, by reducing quality. Copyright 2000 by Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.

To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association in its journal International Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 41 (2000)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 59-92

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:41:y:2000:i:1:p:59-92
Contact details of provider: Postal: 160 McNeil Building, 3718 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6297
Phone: (215) 898-8487
Fax: (215) 573-2057
Web page: http://www.econ.upenn.edu/ier
Email:


More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/subs.asp?ref=0020-6598 Email:


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.:

as in new window
  1. FERRALL, Christopher & SHEARER, Bruce, 1994. "Incentives, Team Production, Transactions Costs, and the Optimal Contract: Estimates of an Agency Model using Payroll Records," Cahiers de recherche 9416, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
  2. Oliver Hart & Bengt Holmstrom, 1986. "The Theory of Contracts," Working papers 418, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. Edward P. Lazear, 2000. "Performance Pay and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1346-1361, December.
  4. Bengt Holmstrom & Paul R. Milgrom, 1985. "Aggregation and Linearity in the Provision of Intertemporal Incentives," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 742, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  5. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1983. "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(1), pages 7-45, January.
  6. Charles Brown, 1990. "Firms' Choice of Method of Pay," NBER Working Papers 3065, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Jones, Derek C & Kato, Takao, 1995. "The Productivity Effects of Employee Stock-Ownership Plans and Bonuses: Evidence from Japanese Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 391-414, June.
  8. Lazear, Edward P, 1986. "Salaries and Piece Rates," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(3), pages 405-31, July.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:41:y:2000:i:1:p:59-92. 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: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

or ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.