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Incentives, Compensation, and Social Welfare

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  • Margaret A. Meyer
  • Dilip Mookherjee

Abstract

Alternative wage structures under conditions of moral hazard are analysed from a social welfare standpoint. It is argued that ex post equity judgements in an uncertainty context should incorporate a preference for "positive correlation" of utilities of different individuals. In the design of compensation schemes, this may give rise to a conflict between ex post equity objectives and the need to provide effort incentives: relative performance clauses in compensation schemes that are useful for providing incentives are undesirable from an ex post equity standpoint. This is demonstrated by showing (a) in a context of independent production uncertainties, every rankorder tournament is welfare-dominated by a set of independent (randomized) contracts, and (b) welfare-optimal compensation schemes in general depend separately on an equity and an incentive component that tend to correlate agent compensations in different directions.

Suggested Citation

  • Margaret A. Meyer & Dilip Mookherjee, 1987. "Incentives, Compensation, and Social Welfare," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(2), pages 209-226.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:54:y:1987:i:2:p:209-226.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.2307/2297512
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bartling, Björn & von Siemens, Ferdinand A., 2010. "The intensity of incentives in firms and markets: Moral hazard with envious agents," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 598-607, June.
    2. Meyer, Margaret & Strulovici, Bruno, 2012. "Increasing interdependence of multivariate distributions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(4), pages 1460-1489.
    3. Cesar Calvo & Stefan Dercon, 2013. "Vulnerability to individual and aggregate poverty," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 41(4), pages 721-740, October.
    4. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1994. "Complementarities and systems: Understanding japanese economic organization," Estudios Económicos, El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos, vol. 9(1), pages 3-42.
    5. Marc Fleurbaey, 2010. "Assessing Risky Social Situations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(4), pages 649-680, August.
    6. Ederer, Florian & Patacconi, Andrea, 2010. "Interpersonal comparison, status and ambition in organizations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 348-363, August.
    7. Okada, Yosuke, 2005. "Competition and productivity in Japanese manufacturing industries," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 586-616, December.
    8. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1995. "Complementarities and fit strategy, structure, and organizational change in manufacturing," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 179-208, April.
    9. Prat, Andrea, 2002. "Should a team be homogeneous?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(7), pages 1187-1207, July.
    10. Anderson, Siwan & Baland, Jean-Marie & Moene, Karl Ove, 2009. "Enforcement in informal saving groups," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 14-23, September.

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