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When Should the Talented Receive Weaker Incentives? Peer Pressure in Teams

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  • Burkhard Hehenkamp
  • Oddvar Kaarboe

Abstract

We study optimal incentive contracts offered to teams where team members feel a social pressure to exert similar effort levels. The team consists of two groups of agents differing in their productivity. We characterize first best and the equilibrium under agency. Regarding economic incentives, the principal has to adjust the incentives away from the first-best incentives that would arise in the absence of peer pressure. In equilibrium less productive agents exert less effort and all agents experience peer pressure.

Suggested Citation

  • Burkhard Hehenkamp & Oddvar Kaarboe, 2006. "When Should the Talented Receive Weaker Incentives? Peer Pressure in Teams," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 62(1), pages 124-148, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(200603)62:1_124:wsttrw_2.0.tx_2-_
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Encinosa III, William E. & Gaynor, Martin & Rebitzer, James B., 2007. "The sociology of groups and the economics of incentives: Theory and evidence on compensation systems," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 187-214, February.
    2. Daniel G. Hansen, 1997. "Worker Performance and Group Incentives: A Case Study," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 51(1), pages 37-49, October.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Bengt Holmstrom, 1982. "Moral Hazard in Teams," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 324-340, Autumn.
    6. 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.
    7. Kohei Daido, 2002. "The Effects of Peer Pressure and Risk Sharing on Incentives," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 02-14-Rev, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP), revised Aug 2003.
    8. Simon Burgess & Marisa Ratto, 2003. "The Role of Incentives in the Public Sector: Issues and Evidence," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 03/071, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    teams; incentives; heterogeneity; peer pressure;

    JEL classification:

    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

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