IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Bonus Culture: Competitive Pay, Screening, and Multitasking

Listed author(s):
  • Roland Bénabou
  • Jean Tirole

To analyze the impact of labor market competition on the structure of compensation, we embed multitasking and screening within a Hotelling framework. Competition for talent leads to an escalation of performance pay, shifting effort away from long-term investments, risk management, and cooperation. Efficiency losses can exceed those from a single principal, who dulls incentives to extract rents. As competition intensifies, monopsonistic underincentivization of low-skill agents first decreases and then gives way to growing overincentivization of high-skill ones. Aggregate welfare is thus hill-shaped, while inequality tends to rise monotonically. Bonus caps can help restore balance in incentives but may generate other distortions.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/684853
Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/684853
Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 124 (2016)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 305-370

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/684853
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JPE/

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. Schmidt, Klaus M., 1996. "Managerial Incentives and Product Market Competition," CEPR Discussion Papers 1382, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Bartling, Björn & Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2010. "Screening, Competition, and Job Design: Economic Origins of Good Jobs," CEPR Discussion Papers 7658, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Klaus M. Schmidt, 1997. "Managerial Incentives and Product Market Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(2), pages 191-213.
  4. Jean Tirole & Jean-Jaques Laffont, 1985. "Using Cost Observation to Regulate Firms," Working papers 368, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Bijlsma, Michiel & Boone, Jan & Zwart, Gijsbert, 2012. "Competition for traders and risk," CEPR Discussion Papers 8816, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Fabbri, Francesca & Marin, Dalia, 2012. "What Explains the Rise in CEO Pay in Germany? A Panel Data Analysis for 1977-2009," IZA Discussion Papers 6420, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2011. "Taxation and Regulation of Bonus Pay," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 030, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  8. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2001. "Are CEOs Rewarded for Luck? The Ones Without Principals Are," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 901-932.
  9. Vicente Cuñat & Maria Guadalupe, 2009. "Globalization and the Provision of Incentives inside the Firm: The Effect of Foreign Competition," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 179-212, 04.
  10. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2004. "Fairness and incentives in a multi-task principal-agent model," Munich Reprints in Economics 20657, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  11. Stewart, Jay, 1994. "The Welfare Implications of Moral Hazard and Adverse Selection in Competitive Insurance Markets," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(2), pages 193-208, April.
  12. Patrick Bolton & Jose Scheinkman & Wei Xiong, 2003. "Executive Compensation and Short-termist Behavior in Speculative Markets," NBER Working Papers 9722, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Nick Netzer & Florian Scheuer, 2008. "Competitive Markets without Commitment," SOI - Working Papers 0814, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  14. Nicholas Bloom & John Van Reenen, 2010. "Human Resource Management and Productivity," CEP Discussion Papers dp0982, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  15. Viral V. Acharya & Marco Pagano & Paolo Volpin, 2013. "Seeking Alpha: Excess Risk Taking and Competition for Managerial Talent," NBER Working Papers 18891, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Moen, Espen R & Rosén, Åsa, 2004. "Performance Pay and Adverse Selection," CEPR Discussion Papers 4511, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Guadalupe, Maria, 2005. "Product Market Competition, Returns to Skill and Wage Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 1556, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  18. Brekke, Kjell Arne & Nyborg, Karine, 2008. "Attracting responsible employees: Green production as labor market screening," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 509-526, December.
  19. Jean-Charles Rochet & Lars A. Stole, 2002. "Nonlinear Pricing with Random Participation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 277-311.
  20. Brian Bell & John Van Reenen, 2013. "Bankers and their bonuses," CEP Occasional Papers 35, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  21. Orana Bandiera & Iwan Barankay & Imran Rasul, 2006. "Incentives for managers and inequality among workers: Evidence from a firm level experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00213, The Field Experiments Website.
  22. Karuna, Christo, 2007. "Industry product market competition and managerial incentives," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2-3), pages 275-297, July.
  23. Dalia Marin & Thierry Verdier, 2003. "Globalization and the empowerment of talent," DELTA Working Papers 2003-32, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  24. Thomas Philippon & Ariell Reshef, 2009. "Wages and Human Capital in the U.S. Financial Industry: 1909-2006," NBER Working Papers 14644, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Steven N. Kaplan & Joshua Rauh, 2010. "Wall Street and Main Street: What Contributes to the Rise in the Highest Incomes?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(3), pages 1004-1050, March.
  26. Robert Shimer & Randall Wright & Veronica Guerrieri, 2009. "Adverse Selection in Competitive Search Equilibrium," 2009 Meeting Papers 139, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  27. Carola Frydman & Raven E. Saks, 2010. "Executive Compensation: A New View from a Long-Term Perspective, 1936--2005," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(5), pages 2099-2138.
  28. Abhijit Ramalingam & Michael T. Rauh, 2010. "The Firm as a Socialization Device," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(12), pages 2191-2206, December.
  29. Vicente Cuñat & Maria Guadalupe, 2007. "Executive compensation and competition in the banking and financial sectors," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24497, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  30. Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "The Economics of Superstars," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 845-858, December.
  31. Baker, George P, 1992. "Incentive Contracts and Performance Measurement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 598-614, June.
  32. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez & Stefanie Stantcheva, 2014. "Optimal Taxation of Top Labor Incomes: A Tale of Three Elasticities," PSE - Labex "OSE-Ouvrir la Science Economique" halshs-00944873, HAL.
  33. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 1992. "The Principal-Agent Relationship with an Informed Principal, II: Common Values," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(1), pages 1-42, January.
  34. Xavier Gabaix & Augustin Landier, 2006. "Why Has CEO Pay Increased So Much?," 2006 Meeting Papers 518, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  35. Prendergast, Canice, 1992. "Career development and specific human capital collection," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 207-227, September.
  36. Michael Kosfeld & Ferdinand von Siemens, 2007. "Competition, Cooperation, and Corporate Culture," IEW - Working Papers 328, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  37. Baumol, William J, 1990. "Entrepreneurship: Productive, Unproductive, and Destructive," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 893-921, October.
  38. Benjamin E. Hermalin, 2005. "Trends in Corporate Governance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(5), pages 2351-2384, October.
  39. Bénabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2011. "Laws and Norms," CEPR Discussion Papers 8663, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  40. Chassagnon, A. & Chiappori, P.A., 1994. "Insurance Under Moral Hazard and Adverse Selection: The Case of Pure Competition," Papers 28, Laval - Laboratoire Econometrie.
  41. George Baker & Robert Gibbons & Kevin J. Murphy, 1994. "Subjective Performance Measures in Optimal Incentive Contracts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(4), pages 1125-1156.
  42. Edward P. Lazear, 2000. "Performance Pay and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1346-1361, December.
  43. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2005. "Identity and the Economics of Organizations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 9-32, Winter.
  44. Itoh, Hideshi, 1991. "Incentives to Help in Multi-agent Situations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 611-636, May.
  45. J. Miguel Villas-Boas & Udo Schmidt-Mohr, 1999. "Oligopoly with Asymmetric Information: Differentiation in Credit Markets," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(3), pages 375-396, Autumn.
  46. Crocker, Keith J. & Snow, Arthur, 1985. "The efficiency of competitive equilibria in insurance markets with asymmetric information," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 207-219, March.
  47. Bruce Shearer, 2004. "Piece Rates, Fixed Wages and Incentives: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(2), pages 513-534.
  48. Armstrong, Mark & Vickers, John, 2001. "Competitive Price Discrimination," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(4), pages 579-605, Winter.
  49. John Thanassoulis, 2013. "Industry Structure, Executive Pay, and Short-Termism," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 59(2), pages 402-419, June.
  50. Bannier, Christina E. & Feess, Eberhard & Packham, Natalie, 2014. "Incentive schemes, private information and the double-edged role of competition for agents," CFS Working Paper Series 475, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  51. Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2006. "Sorting with Motivated Agents: Implications for School Competition and Teacher Incentives," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 404-414, 04-05.
  52. Tymula, Agnieszka, 2013. "Competitive Screening of a Heterogeneous Labor Force and Corporate Teamwork Attitude," Working Papers 2013-18, University of Sydney, School of Economics.
  53. Canice Prendergast, 2007. "The Motivation and Bias of Bureaucrats," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 180-196, March.
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:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/684853. 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: (Journals Division)

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.