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Earnings, Productivity, and Performance-Related Pay

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  • Booth, Alison L
  • Frank, Jeff

Abstract

Jobs with performance-related pay (PRP) attract workers of higher ability and induce workers to provide greater effort. The authors construct an integrated model of effort and sorting that clarifies the distinction between observable and unobservable ability and the relationship between earnings and productivity. Predictions are tested against data from the British Household Panel Survey. The PRP raises wages by 9 percent for men and 6 percent for women. Theoretical calculations show that these estimated earnings differentials represent average productivity differentials net of monitoring costs at the marginal firm using PRP but not of the disutility of additional effort expended by workers. Copyright 1999 by University of Chicago Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Booth, Alison L & Frank, Jeff, 1999. "Earnings, Productivity, and Performance-Related Pay," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(3), pages 447-463, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:17:y:1999:i:3:p:447-63
    DOI: 10.1086/209927
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ewing, Bradley T., 1996. "Wages and performance-based pay: Evidence from the NLSY," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 241-246, May.
    2. Weitzman, Martin L, 1985. "The Simple Macroeconomics of Profit Sharing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 937-953, December.
    3. Goldin, Claudia, 1986. "Monitoring Costs and Occupational Segregation by Sex: A Historical Analysis," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(1), pages 1-27, January.
    4. Seiler, Eric, 1984. "Piece Rate vs. Time Rate: The Effect of Incentives on Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(3), pages 363-376, August.
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