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Promotions, Demotions, Halo Effects, and the Earnings Dynamics of American Executives


  • Christian Belzil
  • Michael Bognanno


This paper explores the determinants of earnings growth in corporate hierarchies using static and dynamic panel data techniques. The novelty derives from the distinction between base pay and bonus, the asymmetric effects of promotion and demotion, and the consideration of dynamic effects. We find that the convexity of pay structures is robust to the allowance for unobserved individual heterogeneity. Demotion has a stronger effect on compensation growth in absolute value than promotion. Dynamic models indicate that the causal effect of past promotion is positive on the growth in base and total pay but has no significant effect on bonus growth. (c) 2008 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

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  • Christian Belzil & Michael Bognanno, 2008. "Promotions, Demotions, Halo Effects, and the Earnings Dynamics of American Executives," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 287-310, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:26:y:2008:i:2:p:287-310

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Susana Cabrera & Enrique Fatás & Juan Lacomba & Tibor Neugebauer, 2013. "Splitting leagues: promotion and demotion in contribution-based regrouping experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 16(3), pages 426-441, September.
    2. Frederiksen, Anders & Halliday, Timothy J. & Koch, Alexander K., 2010. "What Do We Work For? An Anatomy of Pre- and Post-Tax Earnings Growth," IZA Discussion Papers 5298, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Carrillo-Tudela, Carlos & Kaas, Leo, 2015. "Worker mobility in a search model with adverse selection," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 340-386.
    4. Anders Frederiksen & Timothy Halliday & Alexander K. Koch, 2016. "Within- and Cross-Firm Mobility and Earnings Growth," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 69(2), pages 320-353, March.
    5. Frederiksen, Anders, 2013. "Incentives and earnings growth," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 97-107.
    6. Steffen Altmann & Armin Falk & Matthias Wibral, 2012. "Promotions and Incentives: The Case of Multistage Elimination Tournaments," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 149-174.
    7. Pema, Elda & Mehay, Stephen, 2010. "The role of job assignment and human capital endowments in explaining gender differences in job performance and promotion," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 998-1009, December.
    8. Hryshko, Dmytro, 2014. "Correlated income shocks and excess smoothness of consumption," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 41-62.

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